Introducing Jicaro Island Ecolodge’s Exceptional and Sustainable Culinary Experience
Granada, Nicaragua, January 2010 –As Central America’s newest eco-luxury lodge, Nicaragua’s Jicaro Island Ecolodge is committed to providing guests with a food experience that celebrates local, sustainable ingredients with healthy, natural dishes.
Owner Karen Emanuel has travelled all her life, guided as much by her search for innovative and new cuisines as by her love of exploring off the beaten path destinations. Therefore she went looking for a chef that would understand the palate of her guests who will largely come from key markets like North America and the UK as well as from across Central America. She searched for a chef who would also want to explore the local ingredients and recipes of Nicaragua when developing the intimate island’s menus, where food plays such an important role in the guest’s experience.
Stepping up to the plate, literally, is California chef Calley Prezzano. Prezzano is as much teacher and explorer as she is creator of the dishes that come from Jicaro Island’s open air kitchen. She is responsible for discovering and sourcing as many locally, organically and sustainably grown, caught and produced ingredients as possible. Jicaro Island’s wellness atmosphere calls for fresh, healthy and innovative cuisine. Prezzano is available for questions about the local flavors and ingredients, and offers cooking classes so guests may bring a taste of Nicaragua’s culinary culture home with them.
“In designing the menu for Jicaro Island Ecolodge, I want guests to experience the distinct flavours of Nicaragua in a fine dining atmosphere,” says Prezzano. “I’ve incorporated traditional dishes and foods sourced from local farms and businesses with unique flavour profiles and eclectic yet healthy cooking techniques. I encourage guests to take their time and relish in the breathtaking natural setting while enjoying a meal composed of local products, to create an experience and memory to last a lifetime.”
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from UCLA, Prezzano trained as a chef in the San Francisco Bay Area. She graduated from the California Culinary Academy with honors. Prezzano developed recipes and equipment for home cooks as a Test Cook for esteemed culinary retailer, Williams-Sonoma. She has found her passion inside of the kitchen, creating meals that bring people together around a table to enjoy the season’s bounty and each other’s company. Prezzano has been a chef at Google as well as worked in Michelin-rated restaurants in San Francisco. In addition, Prezzano has taught private cooking classes for companies such as Amgen, American Express and Genentech. She balanced this experience by volunteering at the SF Food Bank and also spent time cooking for families experiencing homelessness.
As the chef of a brand new eco-luxury lodge, Prezzano has the opportunity to bring the tastes of Nicaragua to the world stage and help build the reputation of this growing destination as a place for culinary as well as eco-tourists.Opened in December, Jicaro Island Ecolodge is set on a private island just a short boat ride from the colonial town of Granada, Nicaragua’s top tourist town. Accommodation is provided by nine beautifully designed two level casitas, each offering lake views. Jicaro Island Ecolodge also includes an open kitchen and restaurant, lake front patios, pool and lounge area, and large yoga decks, all offering spectacular views of Mombacho Volcano across Lake Nicaragua. Rates start at US$380.00, based on double occupancy, and all meals are included with accommodation, therefore along with yoga, wellness treatments and exploring the surrounding natural beauty, dining plays an important part in the Jicaro Island experience.