Executive Chef Clay Carnes, one of Palm Beach County’s hottest chef’s on the scene right now, is excited to announce the upcoming Cholo Soy Cocina Restaurant, a brand-new concept sure to take Palm Beach County dining scene by storm. Cholo Soy Cocina, which is slated to open in Summer 2016, will serve a new kind of Latin street food to the South Florida foodie-faithful.
Carnes will be armed with locally grown produce and top–quality meats and ingredients, along with his well known no–nonsense approach to cooking, and will be serving up tantalizing Andean-American selections and tacos crafted from freshly made Florida organic white corn tortillas
“Cholo Soy is our brand’s name. “Cholo” is a slang term in Ecuador for the indigenous people. It also means something “mixed or ghetto.” I came across it written on a wall in a Peruvian restaurant. At that point it hit me “this is perfect” I like the open-ended feel of it as it reflects our cuisine here as “mixed” and indigenous or authentic,” says Carnes.
The French Culinary Institute and ALMA la scoula internazionale di cucina Italiana graduate made his start as Chef De Cuisine at Cucina Dell’ Arte in Palm Beach. From there, he transplanted to Cuenca, Ecuador, leading the team at boutique hotel Mansion Alcazar as their “chef ejecutivo.” Carnes returned to South Florida in 2011 to open Wellington’s award-winning restaurant, The Grille. He then took the reigns as the executive chef of The White Horse Tavern where he feeds the highly discerning, elite equestrian set.
Known for a decidedly eclectic cuisine that reflects his Italian, Mediterranean, Latin and North American exposure, Chef Carnes recently reigned victorious on The Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen. He is routinely invited to both the Palm Beach Food & Wine Festival and the wildly popular Swank Table farm dinners.
“We’re trying to up the ante here in South Florida for tacos. We’re using locally grown, organic and non-GMO corn and handmade masa for our tortillas, which definitely sets us apart,” says Chef Carnes.
Carnes is excited to not only provide Cholo Soy Cocina’s offerings in the restaurant, but also at the West Palm Beach Green Market. The restaurant will also do large to-go style food including catering and ticket-only “puerta cerrada” style dinners once or twice a month with local guest chefs from all around the state. He wants to spread his restaurant’s findings and cuisine with other chefs to make a memorable and affordable experience for all walks of life in the area.
“We’ll work with local farms and purveyors and use a lot of dry grains and ingredients so we won’t be limited to seasonality. We will really concentrate on growing our own peppers, herbs, and other vegetables on our patio and roof top garden because we are looking for specific flavors only found in certain regions of the world,” he says.
Surroundings in the 600 square foot restaurant will be intimate, with just a dozen seats including standing room at the counter. Carnes also has some surprises to the space where Cholo Soy Cocina will be located at 3715 S. Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach, that will be revealed after opening.