Rodney Murillo, Executive Chef
Rodney Murillo, executive chef at Avila Modern Mediterranean, is originally from Costa Rica. In 1990, at the age of 16, Murillo relocated to Boston to pursue his interest in the kitchen by learning from his uncle who was living in the area and working in food service for Sheraton hotels. Not yet fluent in English at the time he moved to Boston, Murillo overcame this barrier on his own.
Murillo’s fascination with food started almost on the day he was born. Growing up in Costa Rica, for Murillo life and recreation on the water was a daily routine, with regular fishing tips out on the ocean with his grandfather. His parents own a 110-acre coffee and pineapple plantation and are the producers of some of the finest coffee beans in the area. Murillo remembers that all meals prepared by his parents and grandparents used only freshly caught fish and ingredients picked right out of the garden. Murillo visits often and his family still takes great pride in preparing every meal.
In 1992, an opportunity in the kitchen at Davio’s came about and Murillo jumped at the chance to work for one of Boston’s more established dining rooms. Working his way up the ladder, Murillo was promoted to sous chef in 1997 and held that position in both the Boston and Cambridge Davio’s locations. When Davio’s Boston relocated to the much larger space at 75 Arlington Street, Murillo was again promoted to chef de cuisine for the busy and popular new restaurant. In anticipation of the opening of Avila Modern Mediterranean, Murillo spent time with chefs Guillermo Pelion of Pasion in Philadelphia and Daniel Boulud of Daniel in New York City. He also visited Portugal, Spain, and France where he had the opportunity to visit several Michelin star restaurants.
Murillo takes great pride in being a self-taught chef and working with many of the same people who have nurtured him through his years at Davio’s. Murillo stated, “I’m excited to be part of the Avila Modern Mediterranean team and create unique and interesting dishes inspired by the Mediterranean.” Murillo enjoys working in the open kitchen atmosphere and always takes special notice to ensure guests are pleased with his culinary creations.
Murillo lives in Boston with his wife, who recently graduated from law school.