Cook like a Tico: A Costa Rican Experience + Recipe

Cook Like a Tico food blogger event at Boston University.

It’s hard to believe that we’re in mid-October already! This post is a quick flashback to summer. June 29th to be precise. I attended a food blogger event at Boston University called Cook like a Tico: A Costa Rican Experience.

Tico” is a slang word that Costa Ricans use to describe themselves according to the Urban Dictionary. The word captures a care free outlook on life along with the saying “Pure Vida” meaning pure life.

That feeling is expressed in the food of Costa Rica and there is an emphasis on fresh local ingredients.


We helped with some of the simple food prep for our meal that was prepared by Chef Randy Siles of Hotel Tropico Latino.


The hotel’s website has quite a lot of information and gives more details about Chef Siles and his way of cooking.

Our chef Randy Siles, recently named the ambassador of the sustainable and healthy cuisine plan for Costa Rica, has a fusion style called “Author’s Cuisine,” which is a free-style way of cooking that lets him create original recipes from his imagination. Like an artist with a blank canvas, Siles skillfully creates gourmet art fusing flavors into delicious, fresh and healthy dishes that tantalize your taste buds.

I also noticed that the hotel has beach yoga and yoga retreats as well. With winter approaching, the thought of a warm getaway with great food and yoga sounds idyllic!


The squash and farro salad was one of the best dishes I have ever eaten. The fresh mint and basil really make the flavors pop. The crunch of the cashews, with the cucumbers and squash add to the wonderful texture. I can’t say enough about this dish, which is a meal in itself.

On top of the taste, you can tell by the ingredients that it’s good for you too. What more could we ask for?

I was given the recipe and hope to make it at some point. Unfortunately, the measurements need conversion for us North Americans. But I’m sure we’ll figure it out. Enjoy!

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Squash & Farro Salad


50 g squash (chopped)
250 g farro
40 ml of olive oil
1 large fennel bulb (chopped)
1 green cucumber (chopped)
40 g basil (chopped)
40 g mint (chopped)
100 g of cashews (chopped)
3 limes (in wedges)
2 orange units (peeled and chopped)
200 g of feta cheese
30 g coriander (chopped)
15 g microgreens


Rinse and drain farro. Place in a pot and add enough water or stock to cover. Bring to a boil; add salt to taste and 20 ml of olive oil and blend. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 30 minutes. Once farro is cooked, just blend it with the rest of the ingredients and squeeze in the lime wedges for flavor.

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Disclosure: The meal was compliments of Cheryl Andrews Marketing Communications and the Costa Rica Tourism Board in North America. Thank you!


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