Paxx Caraballo Moll

2019 F&W Best New Chef Paxx Caraballo Moll helms the kitchen at Jungle BaoBao inside the acclaimed JungleBird bar in San Juan, Puerto Rico. They are known for their playful Asian-Rican fusion cooking and crowd-pleasing bar snacks like Taiwanese buns, fried eggplant, and blooming enoki mushrooms. Committed to running an inclusive kitchen, the trans, queer chef is a leading figure in the LGBTQ culinary community and at the center of the local food movement on the island.


Paxx Caraballo Moll has been cooking for two decades. While still in art school, they got their start in the kitchen of Chef Roberto Treviño at DragonFly in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, where they worked for seven years learning the craft. Moll went on to cook under Puerto Rican pioneers like Alfredo Ayala and Jose Enrique, developing a relationship with local farmers and producers, which eventually led to their own food kiosk called Baoricua, the precursor to Jungle BaoBao. Following their transition, Moll became a recognizable figure in Puerto Rico’s trans community, appearing in the 2014 trans documentary Mala Mala. In 2018, Moll became the first openly trans chef to cook at the James Beard House in New York.

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