JOJOTO Brings Venezuelan Cuisine to Branford, Opening August 2014

Amy Kundrat

The Venezuelan-inspired Jojoto Restaurant + Bar is opening in Branford this August. Owner Victor Figueroa and Neil Fuentes, our favorite Singing Chef, have teamed up for a restaurant that is "high-energy, Latin infused with authentic Venezuelan dishes."

Jojoto will open in a 40-seat intimate dining room that was previously occupied by Augie's Restaurant. The menu will feature rustic and traditional recipes that take inspiration from the land as well as the nearby shoreline, and include:

Costillas de Res of sofrito and cabernet braised short ribs with polenta, gremolata and truffle essence; Venezuelan BBQ with beef tenderloin, chicken, pork, choice of chorizo or blood sausage, yuca, guasacaca and crema fresca; Hamburguesa Venezolana piled high with lettuce, tomato, ham, queso, avocado, bacon, crushed potato chips, slaw, ketchup, mustard, garlic sauce, topped with a duck egg and served with truffle fries; Pabellon Criollo with rice, black beans, shredded beef and sweet plantains; and Gallinita Rellena, deboned, crispy skin Cornish hen stuffed with leeks and sweet plantain with an orange, lemon grass and honey reduction. Seasonal paella preparations and market fresh fish dishes change daily. 

About Chef Neil Fuentes

Raised on a farm in Venezuela and upon graduating from performing arts school, Neil Fuentes’ combined passion for food and entertainment led to his popular persona, “The Singing Chef”. The Sensational Singing Chef, airing on Connecticut Style on WTNH Television in New Haven, CT since 2009, continues to be a highly rated show for the network, garnering numerous awards and a cult-like following. National appearances include The Food Network’s hit show Chopped, Sabra Humus’ Recipe Makeovers, as well as Neil’s on-going series on Food Channel’s Hot Spots, where Neil takes viewers on culinary tours throughout New England. 

About Owner Victor Figueroa

Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela and one of six children to a single mother, Victor learned what hard work meant early on. In addition to a strong education, Victor was very passionate about anything that flew, which led him to the Venezuelan air force at the age of 17 and paragliding off mountains while he pursued an accounting career. In 1996 he graduated with his bachelor’s degree in accounting from Universidad Catolica Andres Bello.

After working as an auditor in Venezuela for many years, due to political unrest Victor decided to pursue a master’s degree in the United States and in 2006 he completed his MBA.  The lessons he learned from his mother about hard work had paid off when his employers paid his tuition and sponsored his green card. Victor’s dreams continue to come true as he and his wife Nichola raise two beautiful girls in Branford.  And now another dream has now become a reality - bringing a taste of Venezuela to his home, to his family and to this country in the form of Jojoto.

For more information, visit: or call 203-208-4141. Jojoto is located at 130 Shore Drive Rd, Branford CT 06405.