About the Chef

Since opening his first restaurant in 2005, Chef Jose Garces has emerged as one of the nation’s leading chefs and restaurateurs.  Today, he is the owner and operator of more than a dozen restaurants in five cities.  He is the 2009 winner of the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef Mid-Atlantic” award and one of only a few chefs in the country to hold the coveted title of Iron Chef.  Chef Garces is the author of The Latin Road Home (Lake Isle Press, October 2012), a culinary and cultural tour of Ecuador, Spain, Mexico, Cuba and Peru, and his debut cookbook, Latin Evolution (Lake Isle Press, Fall 2008).


An American born to Ecuadorian parents and raised in Chicago, Garces’ culinary training started early in life, in the kitchen of his paternal grandmother, Mamita Amada, where he learned to prepare family recipes and came to love food and cooking.  After graduating from Kendall College’s School of Culinary Arts, Garces worked in top-rated professional kitchens from Spain to New York City before moving to Philadelphia in 2001 to make it his home where he lives today.


Chef Garces’ eponymous Garces Group operates restaurants in Philadelphia, PA; Chicago, IL; Scottsdale, AZ; Palm Springs, CA and Atlantic City, NJ.  His award-winning concepts range from authentic Andalusian tapas and modern Mexican street food to European bistro fare and artisanal American food and drink.  In addition, Chef Garces is the owner of 40-acre Luna Farm in Bucks County, PA, where he and his team grow produce used throughout his East Coast restaurants. 


His Philadelphia ventures are each counted among the city’s best: Amada; Tinto;  Distrito; Village Whiskey; Garces Trading Company; JG Domestic; Distrito Taco Truck and Garces Catering, a full-service event planning division that designs and executes gatherings ranging from casual business luncheons to formal black-tie weddings.  In addition, Chef Garces creates menus for all special events and concessions for the Kimmel Center, Academy of Music and Merriam Theater. In December of 2013, Garces opened Rosa Blanca, an elevated Cuban diner concept in the Center City area of Philadelphia. Additionally in Spring 2014, Garces will debut Volver  in the Kimmel Center for The Performing Arts, an exciting and ever-evolving concept where Chef Garces and his team will be cooking center stage for set nights each month; another outpost of his modern Mexican restaurant Distrito at the Moorestown Mall in New Jersey; and an Argentinean steakhouse inside the Loews Madison Hotel located in the heart of downtown Washington, DC.


In Chicago, Chef Garces is the executive chef of Catalan restaurant Mercat a la Planxa, where he works in collaboration with Sage Restaurant Group.  In partnership with Atlantic City’s Revel, Garces has opened Amada; Village Whiskey; Distrito Cantina; Yuboka; and Distrito Taco Truck. 


Bringing its signature style of hospitality to the southwest, in cooperation with Joie de Vivre and The Sydell Group, Garces Group has opened Distrito and Garces Trading Coffee (GTC) Kiosk at The Saguaro Scottsdale and El Jefe and Tinto at The Saguaro Palm Springs.


For more information about Chef Jose Garces or his restaurants, please visit www.garcesgroup.com and follow them on Twitter: @garcesgroup and @chefjosegarces.  For media needs, please contact Chloe Mata Crane, cmcrane@baltzco.com, or Ilana Alperstein, ialperstein@baltzco.com, at Baltz & Company.