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valentin corral
General Manager, CRE Lodges
Chef Valentin is from Valencia, Spain, and came to Costa Rica Expeditions in 2005 with nearly 20 years cooking experience in his native country and France. His talent in the kitchen, however, doesn't stop at the dining room door. In the last couple of years he has revolutionized the menus at all three of our lodges, managed inventory and staff, streamlined the supply chain, and made other general improvements outside the kitchen - at each of our lodges.

Valentin's efforts led us to promote him to General Manager of our lodges in early 2007. For someone who has been dedicated to haute cuisine and the study of enology (wine making), hotel management has proven to be a challenge, but one worth undertaking, according to him. New challenges are exciting, he says. Essentially I'm a creative person who enjoys experimenting and trying new directions. Life isnt static and since arriving in this beautiful country I haven't stopped growing, learning and being creative in and out of the kitchen.

Before pursuing a career as chef, Valentin worked in the ready-to-wear fashion industry for Cristian Lacroix Paris. He speaks English, Spanish, French, Italian and a bit of Japanese, and loves the opera and art films. Valentin, born on March 30, 1964, is single.


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Feb 7, 2008.- With the professional staff that you have in this company no wonder Costa Rica Expedtions is a first-class tour company.
I am sending this e-mail to let you know that your organization/company did such an amazing job of planning and organizing our trip to Costa Rica. Before we arrived in Costa Rica I dealt with Jeffrey Vargas either via e-mail or by phone. He planned and organized the trip from our transportation to our extra luggage - he had so much information on the trip before we were there. He answered my emails promptly and made it seem that I had a friend in Costa Rica. He was exceptional employee of yours. Jeff's honesty, professionalism, knowledge and efficiency are first class.

We stayed at Tortuga Lodge and the staff was exceptional, from the moment we were picked up in San Jose by Luis Torres. As a guide he was entertaining - from his knowledge on Costa Rica, the history of the country and his great sense of humor. We would also like to give praise to out river guide, Ricardo Davis, with his keen eyesight and respect for the environment. Ricardo's character made the time we spent with him very enjoyable. The time spent with Fabian the bartender was also very enjoyable; the impeccable service we had from Fabian and the great conversations we had with him. Valentin Corral's culinary skills, personality and the way he treats the customers made the stay there A-One. Kevin, the other manager there, had a great sense of humor as well as he was very professional.

The Corcovado tent camp staff was just as professional and the food was fantastic. Jessie the manager had a great sense of humor, was very courteous and knowledgeable. His personality was appreciated and contributed to a great stay. The bartender Erik was also a great asset to the tent camp. Great service and very knowledgeable about the area.

The end of our vacation we went rafting with Costa Rica Expeditions. Our guide Kevin was amazing. The safety guide and the photographer as well as Kevin made us an amazing lunch. Kevin's guiding expertise on the river was fantastic. Kevin is also a huge asset to the company. With the professional staff that you have in this company no wonder Costa Rica Expedtions is a first-class tour company. We would like to thank you and your staff for a great and memorable vacation.
-Nadine Balkaran & Glen Sykes, Canada


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