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The Worthington Renaissance Downtown Fort Worth Taps Pan-Latin Expertise to Shine for National Hispanic Heritage Month

September 7,2023

See full Focus Daily News article by News Staff here.

Guests at The Worthington Renaissance Downtown Fort Worth Hotel come from all over the world. They, along with a growing segment of food lovers, have increasingly complex palates and a curiosity for many flavors. That’s why The Worthington’s culinary team brings together chefs who have lived and worked all over the world, especially throughout Latin America, developing a mastery of the subtle distinctions between the gastronomies of Mexico, Peru, Chile, and all parts in between.

At the helm of The Worthington Renaissance’s flagship restaurant, Toro Toro Executive Chef Jonathan Esparza draws on his formative years spent in Mexico’s Jalisco region, Baja California, Riviera Maya, and Mexico City to emphasize traditional flavors and techniques. While Chef Jonathan leads the team at the hotel’s signature steakhouse, a world of culinary offerings exists beyond the restaurant.

Worthington Executive Chef Dante Filosi Bordenave and Worthington Executive Sous Chef Julio Elias Vasquez oversee all banquets, catering, and breakfasts at Hacienda, the ongoing development of Rooftop Cinema Club’s elevated concession menu, as well as the à la carte room service program.

Chef Dante was born and raised in Montevideo, Uruguay, and was inspired to cook by his mother, who fostered and supported his interest in gastronomy. He also pulls influence from renowned Argentinian Chef Francis Mallmann, as well as his mentor Uruguayan Chef Eduardo Iturralde. Throughout his culinary career, Filosi has worked in many high-end restaurants across Latin America.

Before his appointment with The Worthington Renaissance, Chef Filosi demonstrated an extensive background in leading high-volume hotel food and beverage services. Filosi spent over a decade as executive chef and food and beverage director in Latin America. He has worked with InterContinental Hotels and Resorts in Nicaragua and Honduras, leading various kitchen teams before going on to later serve as executive chef in InterContinental’s Guatemala. Filosi also held several esteemed chef positions among Marriott International, serving as executive chef for Marriott, JW Marriott, and Renaissance properties in Bogota, Columbia, Bahia, Brazil, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Filosi even cooked for many celebrities, such as Mick Jagger, among others, while he worked for Marriott. Chef Dante Filosi has wonderfully maintained his positions with Marriott hotels and resorts over the years.

Chef Julio grew up in Guatemala learning from his grandmother the work and preparation that goes into traditional dishes. To this day his favorite meal to prepare is Pepian, the ultimate comfort food that is often considered the national dish of Guatemala. Featuring chicken or beef, charred tomatoes, onions, cilantro, chiles, and pumpkin seeds, this aromatic Maya-inspired stew helped steer the young chef to culinary school in Guatemala. Soon after Chef Julio moved to Panama to work gastronomic festivals, then to the JW Marriott Hotel Bogota in Colombia, the San Juan Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino in Puerto Rico, before finally arriving at The Worthington.

Now when I make a menu, “ Chef Julio said, “I always think, how can I smoke it? How can I make something with mesquite? If we can add something like barbecue style, like Texan style. Now I try to apply these techniques to the menu.” This marriage of culinary cultures comes naturally for the chef whose love of travel is matched by his enthusiasm for talking with hotel guests for feedback he can use to go back and continually refine dishes.

As we look ahead to Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15), The Worthington team draws from the best of everywhere to offer guests a taste of the world. Kick off Hispanic Heritage Month on September 14 when Toro Toro teams with Maestro Dobel Tequila for the ultimate Tequila Dinner Experience. This exclusive four-course dinner will be a culinary journey guided by the expertly crafted pairings of Maestro Dobel Tequila, offering attendees a unique opportunity to explore the exquisite synergy between flavors and cultures.

Guests will be treated to a curated menu specially designed to honor the rich Hispanic heritage and culinary traditions. Throughout the evening, attendees will have the privilege of indulging in an immersive dining experience, complete with insightful History & Education discussions that delve into the menu’s connection with Hispanic heritage. Tasting guidance will further enhance the appreciation of the fine tequila and exquisite dishes.

Locations Mentioned: Toro Toro, Worthington Renaissance Fort Worth Hotel