OUR STORY

AUTÓKTONO IS BORN

AUTÓKTONO is the brainchild of social entrepreneurs Carlos A. Coriano and Chef Randy Siles Leandro, first Ambassador of Costa Rica’s National Plan for Sustainable and Healthy Gastronomy.

Our mission is to inspire, educate and empower the new generation of cooks to transform the local community food systems through a sustainable and healthy gastronomy and advance food sovereignity.

OUR PRINCIPLES

AUTÓKTONO’s philosophy is rooted in the following principles:

1. Protecting and respecting our natural resources

2. Protecting cultural identity and culinary heritage

3. Promoting research and innovation based on indigenous ingredients

4. Educating and transferring culinary wealth

5. Protecting and enhancing the social; economic; environmental; health; nutrition, and well-being of the local destination.

THE TEAM

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RANDY SILES, Co-Founder

Randy Siles Leandro is the first Ambassador of the National Plan for Costa Rican Sustainable and Healthy Gastronomy, chef and restaurateur, entrepreneur, orator, educator, mentor, and humanitarian. He is the co-founder of Autóktono, the first-of-its-kind platform in Costa Rica with the mission of empowering the new generation of chefs to transform the local, community food systems through sustainable and healthy gastronomy and advance food sovereignty.

In 2021, Autóktono forged an alliance with the Costa Rican Ministry of Justice and Peace to offer the first-of-its-kind course in Sustainable and Healthy Gastronomy to youth who are deprived of liberty at the Zurquí Youth Training Center in Heredia.

Siles’ gastronomic identity focuses on the study, research and conservation of the ingredients and ancient techniques of Costa Rican cuisine and unearthing products that are not used. The objective in each creation is to maintain the essence of the raw material and highlight the local culinary identity. His culinary philosophy is based on an innovative signature cuisine with a Costa Rican identity and the Zero Kilometer concept.

In 2020, Randy Siles joined Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection in Guanacaste Costa Rica. As Gastronomic Manager and Executive Chef, Siles created and launched ‘AGRO-MARINE’— a new gastronomy concept defined as a lifestyle focused on designing unique gastronomic experiences through a humanitarian cuisine with identity, and positive social and ecological impact which, through a holistic conscience, seeks to leave positive footprints in its environment.

In 2021, Siles was appointed Culinary Director of ENJOY GROUP, a hotel company with more than 40 years of experience dedicated to the development and management of hotels, restaurants, casinos and tourism projects in Costa Rica — including the exclusive hotels El Mangroove, Autograph Collection and the Hotel Punta Islita, Autograph Collection — and throughout Central America.

Siles is the founder of the Artesanos de la Gastronomía, a non-profit organization with the mission of identifying, training, developing and facilitating job placement for talented young people with limited resources and economic opportunities in the labor market of the gastronomic-hotel sector.

In 2020, Randy Siles and Autóktono were invited to join the 2020for2020 campaign—a global chef movement in partnership with the Food Forever Initiative and Chefs’ Manifesto that aims to bring together more than 2,020 chefs from around the world to inspire better ways to cook, eat and advocate for biodiversity conservation by 2020 and create a more diverse, sustainable and delicious future.

 

AWARDS & ACCOLADES

  • Guest speaker at the 6th International Conference on Sustainable Tourism: Planet, People, Peace – P3, 2020
  • Guest speaker at the Sustainable Cuisine Gastronomic Festival in the framework of PLANETA 21 celebrating in Colombia, 2020
  • Inducted into the Disciples d’Escoffier International in France, 2019
  • Inducted in the prestigious Les Toques Blanches International Club in France, becoming the first Latin American chef to receive this prestigious recognition, 2018
  • Showcased Costa Rican gastronomy at the three-star Michelin Restaurant Christophe Bacquié, becoming the first tico chef to cook in the company of prestigious French Michelin-starred chefs, 2018
  • Named Ambassador Chef for Costa Rica of the prestigious Cook & Chef Institute, 2018-Present
  • Named among “Central America’s most creative” in 2017 and 2018 by Forbes Magazine–Central America.
  • Named among the world’s top 50 chefs by the 2017 Miami Food and Wine Festival, next to acclaimed Italian Chef Massimo Bottura and the legendary Japanese “Iron Chef” Masaharu Morimoto.
  • First Latin American chef to participate in the New York Times Travel Show, 2017
  • Named first Ambassador of the National Plan for Costa Rican Sustainable and Healthy Gastronomy, 2015
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CARLOS A. CORIANO

CARLOS A. CORIANO, Co-Founder

Carlos A. Coriano is a social entrepreneur specialized in developing and implementing integrated marketing strategies, competitive strategy and brand strategy. Founder of NovaVision Marketing, Carlos has more than 20 years of combined experience in business ownership and management, academia and research, writing, and publication in the tourism and travel, hospitality, gastronomy and wellness industries.

His passion for marketing, gastronomy and sustainability developed during his professional career that includes managerial and executive positions in leading companies within the travel and hospitality industry such as Virgin Atlantic Airways and Island Outpost – an exclusive chain of boutique hotels in Jamaica and The Bahamas created by Island Records founder Chris Blackwell which is renowned for its sustainability, social responsibility and commitment to offer locally grown foods.

Carlos is an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at the School of Business of the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico in Orlando, FL. In the field of research, Carlos has authored and co-authored articles and reports for the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA) and the world’s leading market intelligence agency, Mintel. He is also a contributing writer for the global consulting firm, Thrive Global – a corporate and consumer well-being and productivity platform aimed at changing the way we work and live, founded and directed by Arianna Huffington, co-founder of the Huffington Post.

Carlos is a graduate of New York University, with an M.S. in Integrated Marketing and recipient of the prestigious Richard V. Benson Memorial Scholarship awarded to entering students who demonstrate the highest potential for leadership in the field of direct and interactive marketing, and an M.S. in Tourism Management with a concentration in customer relationship management (CRM). He is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York.

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KENNETH L. KARPLUK

KENNETH L. KARPLUK, Sales & Marketing Strategist

Kenneth L. Karpluk is a sales and marketing entrepreneur known for delivering strong and sustainable revenue and profit gains in highly competitive markets. Kenneth combines his 30+ years in B2B sales and marketing expertise with his in-depth experience in key account development and sales territory management, and customer acquisition and retention through account penetration and customer relationship management.

Kenneth held a number of sales and marketing executive positions at Burroughs Corporation, later merged into Standard Register Company, a recognized leader in document management services serving over half of the Fortune 100, 22 of the top 25 financial services institutions, 100 of the top 150 healthcare integrated delivery networks (IDNs), and 62% of U.S. hospitals. His account portfolio included Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, AIG Insurance Group, Hilton Hotels International, New York Hospital, The Michael Weinstein Restaurant Group, Teamsters Union Local 37, Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, and American Home Products.

Kenneth was responsible for coordinating a strategic marketing alliance with American Airlines, which secured Burroughs Corporation as the airline’s vendor of choice for all Sabre related business forms and supplies. Through this alliance, Kenneth introduced all Burroughs products to all Caribbean Sabre accounts with specialized sales training seminars in New York and San Juan, Puerto Rico. He was the recipient of the Million $ Club – sales recognition award; Legion of Honor – top 1% in national sales performance for five years, and 100 Plus Club – top 1% in national sales performance for four years.

Kenneth holds a B.A. in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and Economics from the State University of New York at Albany. He is fluent in English and Spanish, conversant in Russian.