Chef Guillermo Tellez of Red Owl Tavern at Hotel Monaco - Biography

Philadelphia, PA

February 2013

As a child growing up in Ciudad Hidalgo in central Mexico, Guillermo Tellez absorbed the colors and aromas that flavored his mother’s kitchen and his neighborhood: homemade breads and pastries, chilies, and vegetables at the market. After moving to the United States at 13, Tellez soon realized his career had to involve a kitchen.

Tellez first slung eggs and pancakes as a short-order cook at IHOP before attending culinary school and eventually working the height of American fine dining. In time, he earned a spot at Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago. He cooked with Trotter for 18 years, becoming his chef de cuisine and right-hand man and opening Trotter’s C in Los Cabos, Mexico. Tellez also attended Madeleine Kamman’s Professional Cooking School for American Chefs at Beringer Vineyards in the Napa Valley and became the first-ever winner of the James Beard Foundation’s Felipe Rojas-Lombardi Award of Achievement for Hispanic Chefs.

Moving to Philadelphia, Tellez directed menu development for Starr Restaurants and served as executive chef of Striped Bass. Now Tellez is the man in charge of Philly’s Kimpton restaurants, Square 1682 at Hotel Palomar and Red Owl Tavern at newly opened Hotel Monaco. He and his team produce New American menus that thoughtfully jet from Asia to Mexico, then to India and circle back to Pennsylvania. They’re the flavors of his childhood and collective kitchen experiences—all made perfectly at home in Philadelphia.