Juan Bernardo Ancheita Canel
Born in Guatemala, Chef Juan Bernardo Ancheita Canel's passion for food came from his mother who was a Pastry Chef. It was her signature milk cakes that first triggered his interest in South American flavours.
Chef Juan began his culinary career in 2003 at Mexico's Quinta Real Hotel. It was here that he met his mentor Hugo Hernandez. Under Hernandez's mentorship, Chef Juan honed his skills first as a Commis Chef before swiftly climbing the ranks in the kitchen. It was during this time that Chef Juan had the prestigious honour of cooking for Pope John Paul II in the Presidential House of Guatemala.
Chef Juan left Quinta Real in 2008 to join Unilever Central America, where he spent four years as Chef of Innovations, creating products for mass consumption. Following six years as an Executive Chef at Belca Guatemala, Chef Juan made the move to the Middle East in 2016, taking on the role of Chef de Cuisine at Oman's Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah.
Chef Juan believes in constantly developing his skills in the kitchen and challenging himself in the ever-changing culinary landscape. He has displayed his thirst for growth by participating in awards at both national and international culinary tournaments such as the Copa Culinaria De Las Americas (Costa Rica) and Galardon Chef De Jade.
Chef Juan says he cannot cook without music and now you'll find him dancing in the kitchens of W Abu Dhabi - Yas Island's multi-culinary hub, Garage.