Interview: Chef Jorge Negron of Florida's Point Royal
29-year-old Jorge Negron is the executive chef of Chef Geoffrey Zakarian's Point Royal, one of the restaurants in Hollywood, Florida's Diplomat Beach Resort. Point Royal is a chic, upscale restaurant. It is fairly new, having opened in 2017. Negron is described by his colleagues as motivating, inspiring, hard-working, uplifting and creative.
The Daily Meal: How did you get into cooking?
Jorge Negron: When I was a kid I remember my dad, also a chef, talking about his accomplishments and the joy he felt cooking. When I turned tweleve-years-old I asked him to get me a summer job with him (I wasn’t looking to get in the hospitality business I just wanted some sneakers) he spoke to the owner and got me a job as a steward, within a week, one of the cooks left and I was asked to help on the hot line and on my first official shift in the kitchen, I felt the thrill that he always talked about. I knew who I wanted to be.
Do you have a specialty dish?
Not really, I try to put my “flair” into all dishes I make.
Do you prefer a particular style of cooking?
No, I like them all equally
What kind of atmosphere do you create in the kitchen?
I try to create an environment where everyone is happy, sounds and is almost impossible, but me and the team strive to make sure everyone feels as comfortable as possible.
What do you look for when you hire other chefs to assist you in the kitchen?
What they will bring to the team! I look for strength to complete my weaknesses.
Have I missed anything that you feel is important that you would like to add?
There are a few people who shaped me to be who I am today. My dad, the one who inspired me to start and kept me on track during my rebel days, Chef Jorge Ramos– he has being one of my mentors and friends since St Regis Bahia beach, and finally Chef Michael Fiorello, who taught me how to see the bigger picture and has put a lot of trust in who I am. Geoffrey served as a role model for much of my career and it is a dream come true to now be working for him and with him at Point Royal.
Have you won any awards?
Represented Puerto Rico in the “Taste of The Caribbean” Competition, (Silver Medal).
Competed in the Junior Chef Category (Bronze Medal)
What is your favorite spice?
Coriander, I feel it gives a unique accent to any protein you put it on
What keeps you in cooking?
I just love it, the trill, the happy costumers, the criticism, and all the great people I have met in the way to get where I am.