Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Jose Garces


Philly's IT Restaurateur Jose Garces humbled Bobby Flay on national TV. Fusing Peruvian and Chinese cuisines should be a snap.

Q&A by Trey Popp for Primer Magazine

Q: Amada and Tinto have been huge successes for you, what inspired your latest restaurant here, Distrito?

A: I love the cuisine and culture of Mexico. It's something that has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I'm not Mexican - I'm Ecuadorian - but growing up in Chicago, there was a huge Mexican population, and tons of Mexican restaurants and taquerias, so its just been in me for awhile. It's an ancient cuisine, and the use of chilies, tortillas corn - there's just something really comforting about it.

Q: Why has Philadelphia served you so well as a place to pursue your passion?

A: It goes back to my days working with Stephen Starr. I Opened Alma de Cuba and El Vez, and during those 10 years, I noticed the tremendous amount of loyalty that Philadelphia diners had to the restaurants. I'll be honest: There was a point where I was about to leave... but the customer baser and their loyalty were really inspiring.

Q: What's next?

A: For our next show we're going to do an Asian - Latin concept that's been in my head for a few years. We're centralizing it on this idea of a Peruvian and Chinese mix... So we have itineraries in November to go to Lima and Cuzco, as well, and to try to see what we can bring back - see what we can uncover.

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