Fresh seafood gives chef Gilberto Cetina inspiration. He loves unique flavors and getting creative with his ingredients at his restaurant Holbox.
“I loved seafood since I was a teenager,” said Cetina.
But he didn’t know he wanted to be a chef when he was a teenager. Cooking was always a side job for his parents and of course he had to help prep, learning skills in the kitchen, but not getting a real passion for it until he was older.
“I realized it was something I enjoyed, working with tools and knives and transforming this raw product into something that’s not only delicious, but sharing your culture and where you come from,” Cetina said.
Cetina came from the Yucatan Peninsula and moved to the U.S. with his family. Many of his recipes stem from his childhood and his hometown, learning to cook from his father at a restaurant they both worked at together.
“It’s something that we are both very passionate about and we share. It strengthens our relationship,” said Cetina.
But at Holbox, he can take what he learned from his dad and elevate the food in a new way.
“We combine the best ingredients we can get here in Southern California, which are amazing, with the traditional recipes and cooking techniques of different coastal regions of Mexico,” Cetina said.“We combine the best ingredients we can get here in Southern California, which are amazing, with the traditional recipes and cooking techniques of different coastal regions of Mexico,” Cetina said.