One of legendary restaurateur Stephen Starr’s own chefs in the past and an Iron Chef title winner, Jose Garces is building his own empire. Well, perhaps we should say he has built his own empire. In the past decade he has graduated from following a master’s lead in Philadelphia to leading his own legacy forward.
If being an Iron Chef is not exclusive enough, add to Garces’ list of credits his receipt of the James Beard Foundation’s prestigious “Best Chef, Mid-Atlantic” award in 2009.
A resident of Philadelphia since 2001, one would think he was born to the city he now calls home because of his loyalty to the local area. In actuality, he was born in Chicago to Ecuadorian parents. It is a somewhat sweet story of young Jose growing up in the Windy City and being taught the art of great food according to family recipes. This was under the guidance of his grandmother, Mamita Amada.
Later, Garces graduated from the Kendall College School of Culinary Arts. Mamita was surely proud as he worked in top kitchens from Spain to New York. That would have been success enough for most chefs. But Chef Garces is not like most chefs.
Garces Group Restaurants
Aptly named the Garces Group, Jose’s collection of successful ventures is head-spinning. He owns over a dozen restaurants in Philadelphia, Chicago, Scottsdale, Palm Springs, Washington DC and Moorestown, New Jersey. Add to that an events firm and a vibrant Mexican street cuisine food truck, and Garces maintains a recipe for ongoing success.
Amada of Philadelphia
Garces’ first restaurant is Amada of Old City Philadelphia. Located on trendy Chestnut Street, Amada serves Andalusian tapas in a rustically sexy environment of general dining, private dining and a lounge. Guests are delighted by tasting menus and – for the lucky few who plan ahead – Cochinillo Asado, a whole suckling pig brined and slow-roasted for a day and a half. Enjoy a signature Sangria while awaiting arrival of other members of your party or just because they are both beautiful and delightful.
Click on the images below to explore Amada in greater depth. For more about Chef Jose Garces’ empire, continue reading through the next pages (bottom right).