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Jose Garces

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jose Garces (born July 6, 1974) is an Ecuadorian American chef, restaurant owner, and Iron Chef. He was born in Chicago to Ecuadorian parents. He won in the second season of The Next Iron Chef.[1]

Jose Garces
Pictured here at Panama Gastronomica are show organizer Elena Hernandez, Iron Chef Jose Garces, and U.S. Ambassador to Panama Phyllis Powers.
Born1981 (age 42–43)
EducationKendall College
SpouseDr. Beatriz Garces
Culinary career
Cooking styleLatin cuisine
Current restaurant(s)
    • Amada (2005-)
    • Tinto (2007 -)
    • Mercat a la Planxa (2008 - )
    • Distrito Cantina (2008 - )
    • Village Whiskey (2009 - )
    • JG Domestic (2010 - )
    • Volvér (2014 - )
    • The Olde Bar (2015 - )
    • Buena Onda (2015 - )
    • Olón (2017 - )
    • Okatshe (2017 - )
    • Hook & Master (2021 - )
Previous restaurant(s)
    • Garces Trading Company (2008 - 2018)
    • Chifa (2009 - 2013)
    • Old Town Whiskey (2011 - 2013)
    • El Jefe (2013 - 2016)
    • Rural Society (2014 -2017)
    • 24 (2017 -2018)
Television show(s)
Award(s) won

Early life[edit]

Garces was born in 1981 in Chicago, Illinois. He is the second of three children born to parents Jorge and Magdalena Garces and is of Ecuadorian heritage. He played varsity football and wrestled as a student at Gordon Technical High School.[2] Garces studied Culinary Arts at Kendall College in Chicago, graduating in 1996.[3]

After graduating from college, Garces traveled to Spain to gain experience in European-style cooking and cuisine, returning to the United States a few years later to work in New York City.


Chef Douglas Rodriguez opened Alma de Cuba in Philadelphia with Garces as his executive chef in 2001.

Garces opened his first restaurant in 2005, Amada, named after his grandmother. The Spanish tapas restaurant was followed by restaurant concepts with locations in Philadelphia, Chicago, Arizona,[4] New Jersey, Palm Springs,[5] Washington, D.C., and New York City.[6] Following a few years of financial and legal challenges,[7] Garces filed for bankruptcy in 2018[8] and sold his restaurants to IdEATion Hospitality as part of a restructuring.

IdEATion, along with Chef Garces, now run seven restaurants in Philadelphia: Amada, Tinto, Village Whiskey, Garces Trading Company, JG Domestic, Volvér, and Buena Onda. IdEATion and Chef Garces also manage four restaurants at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey: Amada - Ocean, Distrito Cantina - Ocean, Olón - Tropicana, and Okatshe - Tropicana.


Garces has been a challenger on Iron Chef America, defeating Bobby Flay on a 2008 episode featuring melon.[9] He also competed in the second season of The Next Iron Chef and he was selected the sixth Iron Chef after defeating opponent chef Jehangir Mehta on November 22, 2009.[10] Garces debuted as an Iron Chef on January 17, 2010, when he defeated Seattle chef Rachel Yang in Battle Hawaiian Moi.[11] In 2023, Garces was a competitor in season 4 of Tournament of Champions.[12]

Personal life[edit]

In 2002, he married Beatriz Mirabal, a dentist. The couple has a daughter, Olivia, and a son, Andres.[13]

Awards and honors[edit]


  1. ^ "The Next Iron Chef". www.foodnetwork.com. Retrieved 26 November 2009.
  2. ^ Nichols, Rick (25 September 2008). "Jose Garces: Tapa by delicious tapa, a true Latino empire". The Philadelphia Inquirer. p. F01. Retrieved 20 March 2023. He played varsity football (guard and linebacker on the Gordon Tech Rams), and in 1990 was the wrestling champ, 178-pound class, in Chicago's Catholic League where, just a few years later, Donovan McNabb lit up the field.
  3. ^ Toussaint, Jensen (14 September 2022). "Jose Garces, cultivating the best of two worlds through food". AL DÍA. Retrieved 20 March 2023.
  4. ^ Murphy, Jen (23 February 2012). "Wandering Chef: Jose Garces in Scottsdale". AFAR. Retrieved 20 March 2023.
  5. ^ Descant, Skip (15 January 2016). "Saguaro ending relationship with chef Jose Garces". The Desert Sun. Retrieved 20 March 2023.
  6. ^ Fabricant, Florence (26 April 2016). "Jose Garces Opens Amada on Familiar Turf Downtown". New York Times. Retrieved 20 March 2023.
  7. ^ Attrino, Anthony (11 July 2018). "Celebrity chef closes 2 restaurants, he'll serve as an exec at his others". Advance Local Media. Retrieved 20 March 2023.
  8. ^ Nurin, Tara (31 December 2018). "Iron Chef Jose Garces Nearly Lost His Restaurant Empire; Instead He's Going Back To The Basics". Forbes. Retrieved 20 March 2023.
  9. ^ Cichy, Betty (2008-08-19). "Philly's Jose Garces beats Iron Chef". Courier Times. Calkins Media. Archived from the original on 2009-09-24. Retrieved 2009-10-14.
  10. ^ LaBan, Craig (2009-10-08). "Chatting with Jose Garces". philly.com. Archived from the original on 2009-10-09. Retrieved 2009-10-14.
  11. ^ "The Next Iron Chef".
  12. ^ DeBianchi, Antonia (2 February 2023). "Get a First Look at Guy Fieri's 'Tournament of Champions' Season 4 with the 'Best Roster Yet'". People. Retrieved 20 March 2023.
  13. ^ Akman, Terri (October 2014). "Chef Jose Garces: The family man behind the restaurant empire". SJ Magazine. Retrieved 20 March 2023.
  14. ^ Lazor, Drew (2009-05-04). "Chef Jose Garces wins Best Chef Mid-Atlantic at James Beard Awards". Philadelphia City Paper. Archived from the original on 2009-10-07. Retrieved 2009-10-14.

External links[edit]