Despite embarking on his academic journey as a Business Administration student, in 1987, Mario took a bold turn in his life by leaving his career behind and embarking on a journey to Italy to explore his true passion: cooking. Italy became his culinary classroom, where he secured a partial scholarship at the prestigious Spoleto hotel school. It was here that the seeds of what would become a successful culinary career were planted.
Chef Mario Campollo: The Journey of a Guatemalan Gastronomy Ambassador
In 1990, Chef Mario Campollo graduated as a professional chef and embarked on internships at the Jolly Hotel Milano in Milan, Italy. With his return to Guatemala, he began weaving a culinary career that would take him to great heights. In 1991, he found a unique opportunity to work at the Hotel Casa Santo Domingo in Antigua Guatemala, a place that provided the necessary boost for his culinary aspirations.
His quest for excellence led him to cross the ocean once again in 1993 when he enrolled at the Cordon Bleu in New York, USA. This step expanded his culinary horizons and provided him with international insights. His culinary skills and knowledge further expanded through internships at renowned restaurants in cities such as New York, San Francisco, Barcelona, Chicago, and Mexico City.
Chef Mario Campollo’s passion for gastronomy led him to actively participate in internationally renowned culinary congresses, where he shared his knowledge and skills with fellow food enthusiasts. He has also given presentations and master classes, in addition to serving as a judge in culinary competitions both in Guatemala and abroad.
The year 2011 marked another milestone in Mario Campollo’s career when he published his first culinary book, titled “Aprendiendo a cocinar con Mario Campollo” (Learning to Cook with Mario Campollo). His culinary expertise and insights have also been featured in three other books in collaboration with renowned Guatemalan chefs. Mario’s influence has extended to gastronomic magazines, newspaper articles, and television programs that highlight his illustrious culinary career.
The exquisite dishes of Chef Mario Campollo have delighted the palates of prominent figures in the entertainment and music industry, such as Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Morgan Freeman, and renowned singers like Chayanne, Ricardo Arjona, and Julio Iglesias. Additionally, he has had the honor of serving Presidents, Heads of State, and members of international royalty.
With nearly 28 years of experience at Casa Santo Domingo, Mario Campollo not only continues to be an undisputed leader in his kitchen but also dedicates himself diligently to training new chefs, imparting classes, and creating innovative dishes. He recognizes the importance of his kitchen team, whom he considers the “warriors behind the stoves,” key players in his culinary success.
The awards and accolades he has accumulated throughout his career are impressive, including multiple titles as Best Chef in Guatemala, the Gold Medal from the Culinary Academy of France, and notable performances in the prestigious Bocuse D’Or competition, where the Guatemala Casa Santo Domingo team, under his leadership, has excelled on multiple occasions.
Mario Campollo is more than a talented chef; he is an ambassador of Guatemalan gastronomy, bringing the flavors and culture of his country to international stages with passion and excellence. His culinary legacy will continue to influence and delight food lovers around the world.