Mal Pais Costa Rica Chef and Wedding Catering Services

Client Testimonials

Testimonials about our Mal Pais Catering and Personal Chef Services

“Creative and fun are two words that not only describe James Kelly as a person but also his cooking style. James has been cooking for us in Costa Rica for years and is still able to surprise us with his original dishes.  Our health is vital to us and having James’s clean and healthy cooking keeps us at our best.  He is able to modify his cooking for any need and his patient persona meshes seamlessly into our lifestyle. From the moment our travels take us away from Costa Rica we look forward to returning to James Kelly’s exquisite cooking.  No other cooking can compare.”

Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen

“Funny, we had to travel over 2200 miles, in 2 planes and three cars to get some of the best food we’ve ever tasted, and we live in NEW YORK!”

David Duchovny & Téa Leoni

“Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!!! You, Billy and the girls were absolutely incredible.  The food was outstanding.  I think you blew everyone away!!!  From the menu, to the prep, to your professionalism, to the service A+++++.
It was so much more than we could have ever imagined down in the OSA. Thank you again for everything.  We think you are amazing.”

Shira and Richie, La Jolla, CA

“Jim’s cooking provided us with two glorious evenings of scrumptious, beautifully-presented food in the privacy of our own villa. Every aspect of the meal from salad to dessert was luxurious, thoughtfully prepared and perfect. Thank you, Jim… ”

Elena Brower, NYC

“You served the most beautiful and amazing food, especially the incredible chocolate wedding cake to top it all off!! Your professional control of the entire meal allowed us to all relax and enjoy our daughter’s wedding, We enjoyed a total all-out celebration with you and your staff in charge. Each dish was a delicious experience and the presentation was a complete delight! Your friendly and sincere care set the pace immediately and we’ve been singing your praises to everyone. Any couple lucky enough to be getting married in Costa Rica is guaranteed an unforgettable event in your capable hands. With much appreciation and anticipation that we will be celebrating more events with you in the future. You ARE the ROCK STAR of catering!!!! We all love you.”

Gayleen & Mark Hays
Lake Tahoe, California

“On vacation with our 1-1/2-year-old son and having cooked all our own meals thus far, we booked Jim for a romantic dinner at Villas Hermosas. The combination of his charm, low-key demeanor, and absolute mastery of the kitchen left us literally begging for more—so much so that we asked him to cook for us again a few nights later. Each time, he was amazingly intuitive about our individual likes and dislikes and the types of flavor profiles that make a meal multidimensional, yet he avoided all the fussiness that often attends a five-star dinner. A perfect balance of confidence and humility, both Jim and his extraordinary culinary creations are experiences not to be missed in Mal Pais. We are from Manhattan and are obsessed with food; we believe that Jim’s meals rival some of NYC’s best.”

Noah Chasin, NYC

“As the manager of Sandy Lane Estate in Santa Teresa, we have had nothing but exceptional catering experiences with Jim and his staff. Our clients have all raved about Jim’s culinary creativity, personal warmth and professionalism. It’s always a pleasure working with him and the dinners prepared by Jim are always the highlight of our guests’ visits to Sandy Lane”.

Hugo de Castro, Sandy Lane Estate

“I just wanted to write and let you know that Anahi and I were truly elated with the menu and catering you provided for our last event. The guests could not stop raving about the food. We look forward to seeing you again for the upcoming high season….”

Stephen Denton, Tropical Occasions

Restaurante Soma Reviews

“Soma is beyond delicious. From the fruit in the morning, to fish tacos for lunch, to a VAST assortment of gourmet dinner options, you will not be disappointed.”

“The food at Milarepa’s restaurant (Soma) was so damn good, and it was the best I got in Costa Rica. It’s a good idea to bring some extra money just so you can eat here morning, noon and night. The other food in town was all right depending where you go, but this was leagues above it. Amazing, fresh, creative food prepared by a surfer chef from California. The restaurant prices would be considered expensive in Costa Rica, but we found the food to be on par with NY restaurants, for half the price.”

“The BEST part of Milarepa is by far their restaurant… it was truly some of the best dining we have ever had. Every dish we had was unbelievably fresh, and truly exquisite… so yummy.”

“During our 3 night stay we ate most of our meals at Soma and the food was the best we had in our month in Costa Rica. If you’re in the area it’s worth going for a very romantic dinner or delicious breakfast. Soma far exceeded our expectations. The tamarind pork ribs are the best I’ve ever had, and I’ve tried a lot.”

“[During our stay at Milarepa] we ate most meals at Soma and must sing the praises of Chef Jim. The food never disappointed be it scrambled eggs with avocado, fish tacos or sesame crusted tuna with ginger sauce.”

“Soma, the hotel’s restaurant has AMAZING food. It is a bit pricey, but definitely worth it since the presentation is beautiful and you can spend a couple of hours enjoying a long meal.”

Santa Teresa Private Chef – Costa Rica Catering

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