Wilfredo Omana better known as Gigio has turned his love of food into his career in cooking for the past 27 years.
Wilfredo Omana was born in Venezuela in 1969 and began his career in 1989 as a cook in Camuri Grande Club in Caracas where he got a taste of the culinary industry. During this time he studied Tourism Orientation, Public Relations, Kitchen Training, Dining Room Services and Flambé style cooking at The National Institute for Cooperation in Education (INCE) in Caracas, Venezuela. He continued growing his career for the next five years in Caracas holding positions of Cook, Chef, Kitchen Supervisor and later Head Chef.
In 1995, Gigio decided to take on a new challenge and moved to Trinidad where he became Head Chef at Pier 1 and enjoyed discovering new local flavours and products. He began sharing his Latin-American style cooking with friends, students and co-workers.
After one year at Pier 1 he shifted his skill to Pavio’s Italian Restaurant serving up his deeply satisfying dishes for four years. Gigio later brought his exquisite palate and creativity to Cascadia Hotel and Trotter’s where he held the position of Head Chef.
He committed his expertise to several restaurants afterwards working as both Head chef and General Manager at Chancellor Hotel and Bootleggers and General Manager at Zanzibar and Kaizan Sushi. Gigio developed menus consisting of International dishes merging flavours of Spanish, Latin-American, Italian and Caribbean cuisines. During this time he trained staff in food preparation, cooking and dining room and bar services.
Gigio continues his career along with his wife, Taryn delighting guests with his refined cuisine and authentic Venezuelan dishes at their family oriented restaurant, Taryn’s The Panyol Place. In addition, Gigio is the owner of Gigio’s Churros and is one of the most sought after Restaurant consultants in Trinidad and Tobago.
Outside of the culinary world, Gigio spends time with his wife Taryn and their two sons.