Uncharted Destinations: Discover the Enchanted Island of Puerto Rico with Surfer-Chef José Enrique

This is a sponsored partnership between National Geographic and HispanicKitchen.com 

Puerto Rico… also known as “La Isla del Encanto” (The Delightful Island), seduces anyone with its bright blue sea and luscious mountains. This island even has a dedicated song: Preciosa. And it is indeed! 

In addition to its gorgeous geography, Puerto Rico offers extraordinary culinary experiences. The Latin flavors and tropical colors of the Caribbean make Puerto Rico an ideal destination for nature and food lovers. 

It is no wonder that Chef Gordon Ramsay is motivated to explore the enchanting island in the upcoming season of National Geographic’s Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted (premieres Monday, May 31 at 9/8c on National Geographic)

On this epic adventure, Gordon goes spearfishing, takes a helicopter ride to an organic coffee plantation, and rappels down a waterfall for delicious river shrimp.

Credit: National Geographic/Justin Mandel

Throughout his journey, he is hosted by laid back surfer-chef José Enrique, who turns up the gas at the final cook. 

We got a chance to sit down with Chef José Enrique and asked him about his love for the island, the food and his plans for the future.

Credit: National Geographic/Justin Mandel

What do you love about Puerto Rico? 

Its’ latitude and longitude! In PR, you can go to the beach and to the mountains in one day. You can enjoy hot summer-like temperatures, and also the cooler breeze from the mountains. 

  • What is your favorite Puerto Rican dish? 

I have many! Can’t choose. 

  • What is one ingredient you can’t live without in the kitchen? My top 3 ingredients are: lime (like Key limes), Salt and Chiles! BTW, in Puerto Rico, the hot sauce or salsa picante is called “pique”. 
  • What are some tips you can give at-home cooks who want to explore new cuisines in their kitchens? 

Go out to your local Farmers Market o mercadito! Once you start seeing fruits or veggies you don’t usually buy, your mind will start looking for new ways to use them! Ask questions to vendors, and you’ll get awesome ideas to try new dishes. 

  • What was the most memorable moment of cooking with Chef Gordon Ramsay on Uncharted? 

Realizing that behind the camera, he is an awesome human being. Discovering his human side, his casual and honest view of things was “very chulo” (awesome). 

  • Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years? 

I would like to travel more!

I currently own 2 restaurants, but I would like to have at least 3 more, so I can dedicate each restaurant to different menu styles: one could be a casual restaurant, the other one can be more formal or elegant and one can have a very “tropical” vibe

During this amazing journey, chef Gordon Ramsey shared an original Pork recipe specially prepared with coffee – yes, coffee! – and paired it with sweet potatoes, yuca and rum! The recipe follows so you can also enjoy it at home. ¡Buen provecho! 

Credit: National Geographic/Justin Mandel


Yield: Serves 4 


  • ½ boneless pork shoulder (about 3 pounds in weight) 
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher Salt 
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground coffee
  • 2 teaspoons toasted and ground cumin 
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika 
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar 
  • ¼ teaspoon chili flakes, more to taste 
  • 2 teaspoons annatto seeds, finely ground* 
  • 1 red onion, medium diced 
  • 1 star anise 
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed 
  • 1 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into large pieces (about 1 cup) 1 yucca, peeled and diced into large pieces (about 1 cup) 
  • 1 cup dark rum 
  • 3-4 cups chicken stock 
  • Rice and beans, for serving 


  1. Prepare spice rub for the pork shoulder – mixing together salt, ground coffee, cumin, paprika, sugar, chili flakes and ground annatto in a bowl. Stir to combine. 2. Season pork belly with rub, rubbing spice mixture with hands to coat pork evenly. Set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes. 
  2. Heat a large dutch oven (or cast-iron) over high heat, drizzle pork with olive oil and sear in pan on all sides under caramelized and golden brown. Remove and set aside. 
  3. To pot add onions, garlic and star anise, season with salt and cook until begin to caramelize and anise is aromatic, about 7-10 minutes. Add sweet potato and yucca and saute for 5 minutes longer until they start brown. Deglaze with rum and reduce by half. 
  4. Return pork to pot, stream in chicken stock, making sure stock comes halfway up the side of the pork, adding more liquid if needed. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer cooking for about 2 hours, or until pork is fork tender. (You should be easily able to break the pork apart with a fork. If not, continue to cook) 
  5. Once the pork is tender, remove from liquid and pull into large pieces using a fork or knife. Reduce reserved cooking liquid and serve atop braised pork shoulder alongside rice and beans. 

We hope you have the opportunity to savor this Caribbean treat and don’t miss the new season of National Geographic’s Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted on Monday, May 31 at 9/8c with new episodes available each Friday on Disney+.

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