Chef Carlos Cartagena is a veteran of the New York culinary scene, having worked alongside of the area’s most respected chefs at the top restaurant around New York City. Born in the Bronx and raised in Harlem, Cartagena first developed his interest in cooking to help his factory-worker mother take care of his family. Recognizing both an aptitude for and an interest in food preparation, Cartagena worked for catering company Food for Thought while in high school and eventually enrolled in the Culinary Academy of New York, allowing him to pursue his passion for cooking and forever eschew the 9-to-5 work schedule he experiences during his brief stint at Wall Street Insurance company.
Following completion of the Culinary Academy program Cartagena accepted an internship at three-star Italian restaurant Felidia’s from there, Cartagena’s love of fusion cuisine landed him a line cook position at world renowned Chef Jean George Vongerichten restaurant JOJO. He quickly worked his way up to the restaurants fish and meat station. That same love for exotic and aromatic flavors and spices of the east landed Chef Cartagena a position at Zengo. Working with Richard Sandoval gave Chef Cartagena the opportunity to deftly blend his culinary influence, with their Latin and Asian-inspired menu. Chef Cartagena’s experience includes position at SD26, The Strand Hotel, Hotel Americano and Box House Hotel. Chef Cartagena continues to share his passion for the craft.