Since opening his first restaurant in 2005, Chef Jose Garces has emerged as one of the nation's leading chefs and restaurateurs. 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). Chef Garces's eponymous Garces Group operates more than fifteen restaurants across the country. His award-winning concepts range from authentic Andalusian tapas and modern Mexican street food to European bistro fare and artisanal American food and drink, as well as a full service catering/event division, Garces Events. 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. For more information about Chef Jose Garces or his restaurants, please visit and follow them on Twitter: @garcesgroup and @chefjosegarces.

Learn More About Jose Garces

What is your earliest memory involving food or wine?
My earliest food memory is of being in the kitchen with my mom as a kid in Chicago, and having her hand me warm arepas straight from the stove. Just one bite of those hot griddled corn cakes filled with queso fresco always takes me back.

If you've participated in the Festival before, what is your favorite SOBEWFF memory to date?
At the 2011 Burger Bash our station was next to Bobby Flay and our burger - the Village Burger on a sesame roll with tomato, Boston Bibb lettuce, and house made Thousand Island - had a pretty good fat content. Since we were cooking 1500 of them, we were putting out grease fires all night.

If you could cook with anyone in the world, who would it be?
Hands down, I would love to cook with Francis Mallmann. His style in combining cooking over fire with a level of theatrics and artistry is inimitable.

I never leave home without my:
my toothbrush, MacBook Air, and Misono chef's knife.