With shows like “Top Chef” and “Iron Chef” dominating the airwaves, it is clear that the public is more interested than ever in trying to understand and replicate the art of cooking. The downside to this, however, is that when seeing chefs work their magic on TV, many people get the mistaken impression that cooking isn’t nearly as hard as they’ve been led to believe. All they need to do is take a look at Jose Garces to see what makes the difference between an amateur chef and a master of the craft.
Jose is the winner of the 2009 James Beard Foundation award for “Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic,” and his Season 2 win on “Iron Chef” makes him one of only a few American chefs to hold that distinction. Jose began his culinary education in his grandmother’s kitchen, and he has honed his skills while running The Garces Group’s fourteen restaurants in the United States. His most well-known establishments are Amada, Tinto and Garces Trading Company, where Jose puts his mastery of the craft on display in a variety of different settings. Jose’s inclusion on this list is no surprise, as is his continued success.
Specialties & Resources
Jose draws upon his years of experience in European kitchens to create fresh, inventive takes on classic meals. At Garces Trading Company, Jose aims to convey the traditional European bistro experience. Offerings include black lentil fritters with smoked tomato aioli, Lyonnaise duck salad with poached egg, bacon lardons and mustard vinaigrette, pappardelle with lamb ragu, chicken paillard with pistachio & tarragon vinaigrette and watercress, and a fisherman’s stew with mussels, white fish, smoked mackerel lardons and leek cream.
At Tinto, Jose draws upon his cultural influences to make vibrant Spanish cuisine. The menu includes items such as braised short ribs with bacon, asparagus and celery root aioli, tuna tartare with pickled guindilla and chorizo aioli, spiced meatballs with piperade and poached egg, truffled chestnut soup with duck & mushroom hash, fried quail egg and pistachio, and kobe beef with pisto bilbaina and romesco.
Finally, at Amada, Jose builds on the traditional tapas structure with dishes such as clams with chorizo and almonds, serrano ham & fig salad with cabrales and spiced almonds, white asparagus soup with mushroom, duck butifarra and pistachio, beef short rib with horseradish, parmesan and bacon, Catalan garlic sausage with piquillo pepper confit, san simon and spinach, and lobster & seafood paella with fava bean salad and pimento aioli.