Juan Mario Arbeláez Guarín
The student who fulfilled his dream of becoming the best cook.
When he was in school, Juan Mario Arbeláez Guarín told all his classmates and teachers that his dream was to be a cook. Later, he assured them that he would not just be any cook, but the best Chef.
After graduating from Gimnasio Moderno in 2006, at the age of 18, he traveled to France and for a week he knocked on the doors of “Le Cordon Bleu” in Paris. Without contacts and without enough money to enroll, thanks to his insistence, he managed to get an appointment with the director who gave him the opportunity to work as a cook for the employees of the academy. So, for a long time, he was working and learning.
On the day of the final exams one of the official students did not show up for the test. Juan Mario, with the style of a Gimnasio Moderno student, asked permission to take the exam instead of him. At the end of the evaluations, the jury rated his work as the best of all. Thanks to this, he ended up working with Michelin-starred Chefs Pierre Gagnaire, Éric Briffard and Éric Frechon.
He participated with great success in the Top Chef program of the French channel M6. At the age of 30 he already had 5 restaurants and thanks to his discipline and determination, today he is recognized as one of the best Colombian chefs in the world.
He never forgets his origins, the teachings of his mother and grandfather, he says that his weakness is the food of the Colombian Pacific. He remembers with great longing the carimañolas of Santa Cruz de Mompox and plans to visit the Amazon to discover this exceptional gastronomic destination.
His achievements and great recognition place Gimnasio Moderno’s name on a high standard.