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SI Puerto Rico VP Ivan Puig, SI USA VP Region IV Debbie Arett, Victor Suarez, PR Gov. Chief of Staff & Director Convention District Authority and SI Puerto Rico Pres. Mickey Espada during the November dinner meeting.

Puerto Rico Presents Two Young Skal Candidates, Hosts Successful Meetings

Skal International Puerto Rico (SIPR) President Mickey Espada and Vice President Ivan Puig are proposing two candidates for membership in the club’s new Young Skal program: Edgadiel Ramos Santiago and Kunal Chakrabarti. Ivan heads SIPR’s new Young Skal committee and is coordinating their candidacies.

Edgadiel, 21, Is from Caguas and completing a B.A. Degree in Culinary Management at the José A. (Tony) Santana International School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts of the Universidad del Este in Carolina, Puerto Rico. He completed an 350-hour internship at the San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino in 2012, where Skalleague and former SIPR President Hans-George Roehrbein is general manager.  He furthered his hospitality industry experience  at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel in Baltimore, Maryland, from May 2013 till June 2014.  “It was an amazing experience working for this recognized company, but I know I have much more to learn,” he said. He graduates in December, 2014.

Kunal is also in his last semester for a B.A. at the José A. (Tony) Santana International School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts and is majoring in Hotel Management.

A native of India, Kunal grew up traveling and enjoying the foods of his native land. He began his career in the artistic world of pastry. His early experience included training at the Oberoi New Delhi and was a pre-opening team member for the Hyatt Regency Kolkata. In the fall of 2004, Kunal moved to Dubai to work at The Ritz-Carlton Dubai as a pastry supervisor and quickly climbed the ladder.

In 2007, he was transferred to the newly renovated Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas as the Assistant Pastry Chef and was promoted to pastry chef in 2008. In November 2012 he assumed the responsibility of pastry chef at Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, in Puerto Rico. He has competed in culinary competitions, such as Middle East Chef Championship, Emirates Salon Culinaire in Dubai and Taste of the Caribbean in Puerto Rico and Miami. Chef Kunal won the 2010 Marriot International Rising Star Award for Culinary Excellence for North America, South America and the Caribbean. In 2011, he received a gold medal for individual pastry and the coveted Pastry Chef of the Year award. He has also been inducted into the Taste of the Caribbean Hall of Fame; an elite club of food and beverage professionals from all over the Caribbean.

Skal Puerto Rico has held three major events in the past months: a highly successful September dinner meeting and weekend outing at the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort in Río Grande, a special October weekend dinner meeting at the Intercontinental San Juan Resort & Casino, and a night of amicale at Meat Market South Beach PR in El San Juan Resort & Casino. Our very special guests were Victor Suarez, Executive Director of the Convention Center Authority and Chief of Staff for Puerto Rico’s governor, and SI USA Region IV VP Debbie Arett (see photos HERE) and below. Also recently SIPR President Mickey Espada and former President and SIUSA Rep. Ronald Flores participated in the SI 2014 World Congress in Mexico City and Ronald attended the SKål 80th Anniversary in Paris, France.

Edgadiel Ramos Santiago

1. Edgadiel Ramos

Kunal Chakrabar

2. Kunal Chakrabarti


Skal World Congress in Mexico City

(To see photo album, click on the name of the event)

2014 Skal Congress Mexico 16

SIPR President Mickey Espada, Olga and Ronald Flores (Past President and SIUSA Rep.

October 25 to 30, Mickey and Ronald attended the Skal World Congress with Mickey as our club’s delegate. Photos are posted on our FACEBOOK page and HERE.


Skål International 80th Anniversary Celebration, Paris, France

(To see photo album, click on the name of the event)

Celebration in Montmartre 2

From the left: Ronald Flores (Puerto Rico), Nahid Olfati (San Francisco), Carlos Banks (Fort Lauderdale), Frank Klare (Philadelphia), David Fisher (Nairobi) and Mario Hache (Boston). They are sharing a moment in front of the Moulin Rouge in Montmartre during the Skal Anniversary celebration. Nineteen countries were represented and events included tours of the city by bus and by boat, great food (of course), plenty of champagne, and a ceremony placing wreaths on the tomb of Florimund Volckaert, founding presdient of Skal in Paris in 1934, at famous Pierre Lachaise Cemetery in the Bastille. Ronald and Olga Flores from Puerto Rico attended the event.


More Recent Meetings and Events

(To see photo album, CLICK on the name of the event)

March Ikebana

March 2014 Ikebana

April Installation Dinner Meeting


Mickey, Tino, Kenneth, Robert, Iván 

May Intercontinental Dinner Meeting

May 2014 Intercontinental (16)

June Silk Meeting

(Photos pending)

The SIPR June 10 Dinner Meeting at Silk at Doubletree by Hilton was by all accounts a total success. Some 36 Skalleagues and guests enjoyed a Pan-Asian banquet topped off with a succulent serving of Peking Duck! Good wines, great food, spectacular service, gorgeous setting and fine friends—what more can we ask? We especially enjoyed having former Skalleague and President and CEO of Meet Puerto Rico (the Puerto Convention Bureau) back with us again.

August Caribe Hilton 

Our August Dinner Meeting at the Caribe Hilton was a culinary (and amicale) success! It had to be, since it was under the direction of Executive Chef Mario Ferro, the dean of professional chefs in Puerto Rico! How often have we had truffle foam? Three new members were invited to join and we will be submitting their applications to SI soon. To see all the photos CLICK HERE.

Aug. Skal Dinner Caribe Hilton 1 - Version 2

Elegant Setup for the August Dinner Meeting at the Caribe Hilton

Aug. Skal Dinner Caribe Hilton 7

Skalleagues Mickey, José, Robert and Hans-Georg at the Caribe Hilton

September St. Regis Bahia Beach

Skal September 2014 Bahia Beach 1

Some 63 Skal Puerto Rico members and guests attended the September Dinner at the St. Regis Bahia Beach and raved about the food (featured above). About a dozen more stayed on for the weekend outing and, according to all reports, a wonderful time was enjoyed by all. 

October San Juan Intercontinental

(Photos pending)

November Meat Market South Beach/SJ El San Juan

Skal November 2014 6

Ronald, Debbie Arett SIUSA VP Region IV, Mickey 

© Skal International Puerto Rico 2014