Rising Star Chef Ruben Garcia of ThinkFoodGroup - Biography

Washington, DC


Streaming smoke and beakers were once the signature of mad scientists, but at minibar by josé andrés Chef Ruben Garcia puts his creative touches on each mini-dish, all while surrounded by billowing clouds of liquid nitrogen and cotton candy machines. And based on what we’ve tasted, he’s anything but mad. His molecular gastronomy is more than a buzzword. It’s a means to an end, namely a supremely meaningful experience of cuisine.

Born and raised in Terrassa, Spain, García resolved to make the kitchen his work area at the age of 15 and enrolled at Spanish culinary school Joviat, in Manresa, Cataluña. Before graduating with honors, García staged at many local restaurants, including Michelin-starred Jean Luc Figueras in Barcelona. He went on to work under the legendary Chef Martín Berasategui at his Michelin three-starred Basque restaurant. García then met Albert and Ferran Adrià and spent five years at el Bulli. His time there exposed him to innovative, out-of-the-box thinking and quality ingredients—a large part of his current gastronomic psyche. But García loved to travel, so when he met el Bulli alum José Andrés, he seized the opportunity to follow him to the US.

Now a 2010 StarChefs.com Rising Star and part of Andrés’ prolific ThinkFoodGroup, Garcia worked his way up to Research and Development Director. As Andrés’s second-in-command, Garcia artfully crafts menus, oversees quality control, works special events and promotions, and provides leadership to the kitchens. Garcia might have had some incredibly influential mentors, but his culinary philosophy is all his own. His dishes are full of love for traditional Catalan cuisine, but they are also full of finesse, playfulness, and a distinctive personality.