Rising Star Chef Jose Garces of Garces Group - Biography

Philadelphia, PA

September 2015

Jose Garces grew up in Chicago, raised by his Ecuadorian parents. He credits his interest in cooking to his mother, whom he vividly remembers helping in the kitchen after school when he was young. After graduating from local Kendall College for culinary school, Garces went on to apprentice at La Taberna del Alabardero in Marbella, Spain. He later moved to New York and to work in the kitchens of some of the City's most well known restaurants, such as the Rainbow Room, the Four Seasons, 57/57, and Bolivar. Garces emerged as a true talent under the tutelage of Chef Douglas Rodriguez, often cited as “the godfather of Nuevo Latino cuisine.” While working with Rodriguez at his two popular restaurants, Pipa and Chicama, Garces earned the respect of both his peers and the dining public.

In 2000, Garces was invited to Philadelphia to serve as executive chef first at restauranteur Stephen Starr's Cuban-influenced Alma de Cuba and later at El Vez. In January 2004, Garces was recognized as one of “Philly’s New Star Chefs” by Philadelphia Magazine, and just one month later Restaurant Hospitality Magazine honored him with a similar award. That same year StarChefs recognized Garces with a Rising Star Chef. In 2009, he went on to compete in and win season two of The Next Iron Chef.

Garces is presently at the heading of his own restaurant group, the Garces Group, which includes seventeen restaurants throughout the country. His latest project will be the opening of tapas bar Amada in New York’s Brookfield Place.