Omar Torres, an award-winning chef will be heating up Tampa Bay with all new flavors.
Chef Omar started his culinary career in 1993 at the Hard Rock Cafe in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We asked him how it feels to be back in the Hard Rock band and rocking in a new tropical state.
“It’s amazing to think that after 20 years I’m returning to the brand where my career started and took off,” said Omar.
He quickly advanced with the Hard Rock Cafe and spent ten years as a driving force and leader for the culinary community.
In 2001, Omar made a career move to work for the Orlando Arena Club. There he was the club chef and was presented the opportunity to cook for the Orlando Magic team and owners. Talk about ballin’!
His extensive knowledge and expertise were mastered at prestigious Five Star, Five Diamond hotels such as the Waldorf Astoria and Ritz Carlton. He represented The Ritz Carlton & JW Marriott at the Chef’s Garden Food and Wine Festival in 2007, 2008 and 2009. This huge event is also known as the ‘Woodstock’ of the culinary world, where the best 50 restaurants and hotels participate alongside various renowned celebrity chefs.
Omar is a two time American Culinary Federation medal recipient and was the team captain of a culinary competition in Florida, where his team received gold medals.
Now cooking up a new journey in Tampa, Omar has been named Chef de Cuisine at Council Oak Steaks and Seafood. Additionally, he will oversee Plum VIP Lounge and plans to bring new flavors to the menu, as well as Tampa Bay.
A key goal for Chef Omar is to incorporate local farm ingredients in the menu and on the table. Additionally, he strives to focus on creative presentations that will impress guests who dine at Council Oak Steaks & Seafood.
Chef has already been hard at work crafting a menu that will now include seasonal changes to make it more American and balanced. The new menu will elevate fine dining to the next level.
Among the additions to the “Summer 2015” menu includes Smoked Wagyu Tartar, Bone Marrow, Ahi Tuna and Oyster Shooters.
The Smoked Wagyu Tartar represents a change in protein from choice filet to top of the line Wagyu. Bone Marrow offers the perfect introduction to those who have never tried it – made with Council Oak bacon and red onion jam, radish, pea shoots and watercress.
The Ahi Tuna dish is Council Oak’s idea of a tuna tartare wrap in a carpaccio creamy sauce with pickled radish, salmon caviar and osettra caviar. Oyster Shooters, made with lobster, Council Oak Bloody Mary mix and vodka, offers the perfect combination of beach, seafood and cocktail.
Make sure to stop into Council Oak Steaks & Seafood to try the new menu and welcome Chef Omar back to the band.