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The next generation of culinary artisans are changing up the industry. These artisans have a whole new approach to reaching and satisfying the next generation consumer. In this podcast we will explore chefs and artisans from around the world diving into their story and passion. 

In this episode of Chef AF, Pepe chats with Chef Jose Garces about growing up around fantastic Ecuadorian cuisine, why he started developing plant-based foods and launching his latest concept.

When asked about becoming a chef, Garces talks about growing up and watching fantastic cooks, his Mother and Grandmother, preparing foods revolving around the cuisine of Ecuador. Garces talks about attending cooking school in Chicago at Kendall, moving to Spain and working at the local eateries and hotels. He talks about moving to New York, where he worked under mentors at the Four Seasons and the Rainbow Room. He says, “I'd say that part of my career is where I really learned how to cook, how to become a Chef. I would say it was my heaviest training there.” 

Garces moved from New York to Philadelphia in 2000. He shares that the next part of his career involved leaning into ownership and entrepreneurial opportunities. He opened his first restaurant, Amada, named after his Grandmother, in 2005. He talks about competing on ‘The Next Iron Chef’,  becoming an ‘Iron Chef’, and appearing on 5 seasons of the show. He says, “I have quite a few battles under my belt.”

Pepe and Garces discuss why he started developing plant-based foods. He shares that there were a few factors in the decision. He tells Pepe that a colleague had reached out to him and asked if he would be interested in collaborating on a project to create Latin inspired plant-based meals. Garces says that around the same time-frame, his daughter was having gluten allergies as well as lactose intolerance, and they found that a plant-based diet worked better for her. Garces says, “I was challenged to create these plant-based foods and I took it on wholeheartedly.” He says the result was the launch of Casa Verde.

Pepe asks Garces about his most recent endeavor, a Mexican fast casual concept. Garces is excited to talk about the opening of Buena Onda, which means ‘Good Vibes’. The restaurant, a Baja Taqueria, was inspired by the spirit of Mexico's Baja Peninsula. Garces talks about how the restaurant is scaling in both units and with new franchising opportunities. He adds, “This should be a national brand within this year.”

To hear Garces talk more about plant-based foods, virtual brands, and the Garces Foundation, check out this episode of Chef AF “It’s All Food” or you can listen at Spotify!

Produced by Lisa Pepe
The next generation of culinary artisans are changing up the industry. These artisans have a whole new approach to reaching and satisfying the next generation consumer. In this podcast we will explore chefs and artisans from around the world diving into their story and passion.  In this episode of Chef AF, Pepe chats with Chef Jose Garces about growing up around fantastic Ecuadorian cuisine, why he started developing plant-based foods and launching his latest concept. When asked about becoming a chef, Garces talks about growing up and watching fantastic cooks, his Mother and Grandmother, preparing foods revolving around the cuisine of Ecuador. Garces talks about attending cooking school in Chicago at Kendall, moving to Spain and working at the local eateries and hotels. He talks about moving to New York, where he worked under mentors at the Four Seasons and the Rainbow Room. He says, “I'd say that part of my career is where I really learned how to cook, how to become a Chef. I would say it was my heaviest training there.”  Garces moved from New York to Philadelphia in 2000. He shares that the next part of his career involved leaning into ownership and entrepreneurial opportunities. He opened his first restaurant, Amada, named after his Grandmother, in 2005. He talks about competing on ‘The Next Iron Chef’,  becoming an ‘Iron Chef’, and appearing on 5 seasons of the show. He says, “I have quite a few battles under my belt.” Pepe and Garces discuss why he started developing plant-based foods. He shares that there were a few factors in the decision. He tells Pepe that a colleague had reached out to him and asked if he would be interested in collaborating on a project to create Latin inspired plant-based meals. Garces says that around the same time-frame, his daughter was having gluten allergies as well as lactose intolerance, and they found that a plant-based diet worked better for her. Garces says, “I was challenged to create these plant-based foods and I took it on wholeheartedly.” He says the result was the launch of Casa Verde. Pepe asks Garces about his most recent endeavor, a Mexican fast casual concept. Garces is excited to talk about the opening of Buena Onda, which means ‘Good Vibes’. The restaurant, a Baja Taqueria, was inspired by the spirit of Mexico's Baja Peninsula. Garces talks about how the restaurant is scaling in both units and with new franchising opportunities. He adds, “This should be a national brand within this year.” To hear Garces talk more about plant-based foods, virtual brands, and the Garces Foundation, check out this episode of Chef AF “It’s All Food” or you can listen at Spotify! Produced by Lisa Pepe read more read less

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