Enrique Socarras made a name for himself in Denver with Cuba Cuba, a restaurant that he opened and helmed starting in 2000. Over the years, the small Golden Triangle eatery made many "best of" lists and became a staple of the Mile High City dining scene. In 2011, chef Socarras became part of the Denver FIVE, an organization that brings together talented local chefs to represent the city's culinary scene on a national level. Late last year, Socarras quietely decided to sell his share of the business to his partners and continue his culinary journey elsewhere. That elsewhere became Centro, a Boulder restaurant that is part of the Big Red F Group.
Socarras joint the kitchen at Centro Latin Kitchen in January. "I came aboard at the beginning of this year bringing my swagger and devotion to Latin food," Socarras said. "I am a first generation Cuban American, raised in the kitchens of Miami -- I have dedicated my career to playing with Latin flavors and find that culture is what inspires me most," he added.
Since January, Socarras has been working to expand the menu to highlight all of the Latin countries. "My goal here at Centro is to redefine the way we look at Latin food and inspire our chefs to push the boundaries and challenge them to make it their passion," said Socarras.
Centro's food offerings used to have a strong Mexican influence, but Socarras overhauled the menu to bring in flavors from Cuba, Spain, Puerto Rico, Argentina, and beyond. As a first generation Cuban-American, Socarras aimed to bring the heart and soul of Latin cuisine to Centro. "My goal was to guide us toward the small plate movement which allows our diners to try a variety of options," Socarras commented. "Bringing dishes from all over the Americas and the Caribbean will help us stand apart and puts emphasis on our brand-Latin Kitchen," he added.
Centro Latin Kitchen is open seven days a week for dinner, weekdays for lunch, and weekends for brunch. One of the most sought-after happy hour spots in Boulder, Centro offers specials all day Monday and from 3 to 6 p.m. on Tuesday through Sunday.