José Ignacio, Uruguay
Chief reason to visit: The ultimate in stylised beachside eating, Parador La Huella’s repertoire in grilled seafood led by Vanessa González is second to none, making it a regular summer spot for trendy visitors from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and beyond.
A few words on the chef: When she took over the kitchen in 2015 from Alejandro Morales – who founded La Huella with business partners Martin Pittaluga, Guzmán Artagaveytia and Gustavo Barbero – González had trained in Brazil, Argentina and California. She had also worked in many of the restaurant’s different departments including HR, events and supply chain management, where she worked closely with local producers.
Typical dishes: Grilled seabass and corvina ceviche and, for dessert, the dulce de leche volcano, an absolute must-eat dish for those with a sweet tooth.
International expansion: A second establishment, Quinto La Huella, opened in 2016 at Miami’s fashionable East Hotel in Brickell, serving the original sushi and grilled-meat offering in a larger, more urban setting.
Bonus point: Morales co-writes a monthly column for Lento de Montevideo magazine and has penned a cookbook, La Huella.