About Chef Juanma
Juan Manuel Barrientos Valencia, known in the gastronomic world as ´Juanma´ and in social media as @juanmaelcielo, was born in Medellín on June 16, 1983. He is a chef, businessman, entrepreneur, lecturer and peace leader at the helm of more than ten restaurants and bars. He is the creator and founder of the Elcielo restaurant chain (Medellín, Bogotá, Miami and Washington DC), La Serenissima, Cuon and AO, Kai, Shibari, Aguafresca and Cerdología.. Juanma has captured the attention of his many followers both through his work and on social media.
Juanma's career began alongside renowned chefs such as Iwao Komiyama (Argentina) and Juan Mari Arzak (Spain). He currently has a creative workshop in Medellín, made up of 30 people, where he prepares more than three hundred dishes each year and develops all the gastronomic and service processes that are part of Elcielo Hospitality Group.
In addition, Juanma leads the Glocal Food Festival, a gastronomic and cultural event in Medellín. He started his Foundation eleven years ago, based on non-violence, where he trains wounded soldiers, former guerrillas, indigenous people and victims, how to cook, reconcile, and readjust to civilian life.
He has been recognized as the youngest chef in the 50 Best of Latin America three consecutive times and in 2016 he was part of the exclusive The World's Best Chef list.
In 2018 he published his first book called "The Recipe for Success'', a book where he exposes experiences - and the resulting knowledge - that led him to his business and personal success.
In 2019 he won the award for Ibero-American businessman of the year by CEAJE in Spain.
In 2020 Juanma opened Elcielo Washington D.C. with a more dynamic service -- both tasting as is tradition in Elcielo and à la carte offering.
Most recently, in March 2021 he opened Elcielo hotel in Medellín, the first foray for Juanma and the Elcielo Organization into the hotel sector. This project seeks to weave the sensory and memorable experience of Elcielo Restaurant into a unique hotel setting.