As Executive Chef of two successful Philadelphia restaurants - Alma de Cuba and El Vez - Jose Garces is changing people's perceptions of Latin food with his gourmet Cuban and Mexican cuisine.
American born and raised in Chicago, Garces’ parents are both natives of Ecuador. He credits his interest in cooking to his mother, whom he vividly remembers helping out in the kitchen after school when he was young. After graduating from Kendall College’s Culinary School, Garces went on to apprentice at La Taberna del Alabardero in Marbella, Spain. Garces later moved to New York City and worked in well known New York kitchens, such as the Rainbow Room, Four Seasons, 57/57, and Bolivar. Garces emerged as a true talent under the tutelage of 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 an impressive reputation around town.