Executive Chef - Costanera Cocina Peruana
Grand Tasting, Saturday March 16, 2013
As owner and executive chef of Costanera Cocina Peruana, Montclair’s hip Peruvian
restaurant, Chef Juan Andres Placencia’s skill and expertise is quickly elevating the New Jersey
dining scene. Juan’s culinary journey started early on. At the age of two, his parents, Willy and
Ana Placencia, moved their family from Lima, Peru to Union City, New Jersey to open their
first restaurant, San Andres in 1989. This was the first of several popular Peruvian restaurants
the Placencias have brought to the area. In 1996, they opened their second restaurant, Oh!
Calamares in North Bergen. It was here, spending countless hours looking over his father’s
shoulder in the kitchen, that Juan discovered his own passion for restaurants and the Peruvian
cuisine of his home country. In 2000, Juan turned his passion for food into a profession and
earned a degree from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America.
Throughout his career, Juan has gained invaluable experience working for the most prominent
chefs and restaurateurs in New York City. While at CIA, Juan interned for the renowned Jean-
Georges Vongerichten at his dazzling French restaurant in Columbus Circle, Jean Georges. After
graduation, He started as a line cook working under Tom Colicchio at Danny Meyer’s Gramercy
Tavern, serving contemporary American cuisine. A year later, he moved to Eleven Madison Park
to expand his skills in dining room service. While learning this facet of the business was
invaluable to a budding restaurateur, he followed the lure of the kitchen and in 2003 found
himself working side by side with his father at the opening of the Placencias’ second Oh!
Calamares in Kearny. In 2005, Juan returned to dining room service at the romantic Italian spot,
Va Tutto, where working for Laurie Tomasino thoroughly assisted in refining his skill and
knowledge of hospitality. After Va Tutto closed, Juan was hired as the Dining Room Captain at
Gotham Bar and Grill and remained there for three years. He then moved on to Mario Batali’s
Italian gem, Del Posto before seizing the opportunity to open a restaurant of his own.