Mario Castrellón internationally promotes Panama’s under-explored gastronomic culture. Through his role as an entrepreneur, he creates opportunities for social development in coffee-farming communities. Today these communities produce Geisha, one of the most exclusive and coveted coffee varieties in the world. Yet, the benefits do not translate into lower poverty rates or higher productivity. The Maíto chef promotes fair trade, professional training and job opportunities for producers and women who are in vulnerable situations.
“My project is for us to be recognized as country, not as an individual or as a restaurant. And that gives me the motivation to do things every day to innovate and represent Panama the best way.”