Chef Felipe Raul Lopez-Torres (Felipe Kleinstiver)
Puerto Rico born Chef Felipe Raul entices and delights the pallet with a wonderful blend of everything Mexico and the Caribbean have to offer. Chef Felipe Raul started his love for food at a very young age. He credits his deep love of spices and Latin flavors to his Mom Vivian who for all of his years has nourished his in- volvement with her in the kitchen. Not to be left out are sisters Patricia and Vivian. With their unsolicited yet welcome and sound advice Chef Felipe Raul became ex- ceptionally, “self-taught”. Chef Felipe Raul’s love of flavors, spices, and the chal- lenge of fusing his heritage with many other methods of cooking has created some of the best recipes you would desire to sample. He started by creating his own catering company in 1990s , Food Power 2 the 5th (F5) as a way and outlet to use his creativity whenever he could while working his first jobs. He joined the US Navy in 1987 and graduated from Aviation Office Candidate School to become a Navy Helicopter Pilot from 1989 until January 1993. Over the years he has been a Senior Industrial Hygienist for the US States Department of Labor and privately as Manager of Environmental Safety and Health for the largest ship repair yard in the Unites Sates. It was not until he left that job in 2011 and moving to his present home in Tijuana that he decided it was the right time to immerse himself 100% to explore his love of cooking.
After numerous guest appearances at local restaurants he was offered a partnership at a small restaurant in Rosarito where he became Executive Chef and Manager of Operations. Shortly thereafter he was invited to the exclusive event of “Noche de Cofradia” during wine harvest season with 40 of the top chefs of Mexico for a night of food and wine pairings. He paired his food with no other than
Hugo D’Acosta of Casa De Piedra, one of the most influential winemakers of the Valle de Guadalupe Region. He was introduced then to The Malagon’s where he was asked to be their Executive Chef of Special Events for the Ranch, where he is currently. Viñedos Malagon is a boutique winery that makes some of the best wines in the Valle de Guadalupe Region. Notably Chef Felipe Raul has cooked for the sister-in-law of the President of Mexico and the Beverage and Events Director of the Mexican White house amongst others. Throughout the Years he has collabo- rated and/or cooked with Chef’s Javier Plascencia, Michelin Starred Drew Deck- man, Flor Franco, Jaime Chavez, Kurt Metzer, among others.
In September 2015 Chef Felipe Raul was sought after by Ms. Marie Elena Mar- tinez, Owner and Chief Editor of The Latin Kitchen, New Worlder and Meets
NYC to participate at the Puerto Rico Meets NYC Events which highlights tourism through the Culinary lens. He flew to NYC and collaborated with Puerto Rico’s Wilo Benet, Mario Pagan, Pedro Alcocer and JJ Johnson of The Cecil in Harlem in collaboration between PR and NYC Chefs.
On April 2016, in response to invitation, he embarked to the Bogota Wine and Food Festival (BWWF) where he was invited to participate in a series of events and to cook for the French Ambassador to Colombia Sir Jean -Marc Laforet at at the French Embassy. He was part of the team with Chefs Romain Meder of Alain Duccase (3Michelin) at Plaza Athenne , Loic Villemin of TOYA (1 M) , Paris, San- tiago Torrijos of Atelier Rodier, Nicolas Masse of Grand Vigne and David Kinch of Manresa (3M), Palo Alto, CA. Event and Chefs were published in Culinnaire Saisonnaire, Print 57 in Europe.
Over the years Chef Felipe Raul has participated in events such as Chef Throw- down, Chef Showdown, Paella Wine and Food Festival (2nd Place Free style win- ner/OC July 2017), Latin Food Fest (LFF), Sabor De Baja, San Diego Latino Film Festival, Chefs Latinos from Canal Telemundo. He is part of the Culinary teams for Non-Profits Vanguard Culture and Berry Good Food Foundation. He is also the Culinary Consultant for Miracle Babies a non-profit raising funds for families with babies in the NICU.
Chef Felipe Raul is a proven wedding food artist and has planned weddings in Cal- ifornia, Arizona, and most noticeably at the Oheka Castle on Long Island, New York. Chef Felipe Raul has clients all over Southern California as well as Mexico. He has donated numerous meals at auction to raise money for charities such as Miracle Babies and the Rosarito Boys and Girls Club. He has also engaged in pub- lic speaking for KPBS, being Judge at the Paella Festival, LFF, the Autonomous University of Baja California and San Diego Latino Film Festival.
Chef Felipe Raul is honored and was invited to participate at the Culinary Summit Event of Baja Culinary Fest 2018 on October 20 and is the only non Mexican Chef participating.