If Ray Garcia hasn’t taken a moment out of his ridiculously busy schedule to stop, smile, and pat himself on the back, he should do so immediately. Not only was he named Esquire‘s chef of the year, but both of his restaurants, Broken Spanish and BS Taqueria, were named to the magazine’s Best New Restaurants list. Chef Garcia is quickly becoming the new face of L.A. cuisine.
At this time a year ago, Garcia had just left the comfort of his executive chef position at Fig for the uncertainty of going solo (though with Bill Chait’s Sprout LA restaurant group by his side the chef wasn’t 100 percent solo—and probably not all that uncertain). Still, financial backers and cooking pedigrees aside, to have two restaurants open within three months of each other and not have a nervous breakdown is a commendable feat. To make those two restaurants immediate L.A. landmarks in a dining scene that’s drowning in great Mexican food? That takes a special combination of talent, poise, and innovation—and Ray Garcia has it flowing through his veins (that, and chile de arbol salsa).
“Los Angeles needs water, a permanent solution to the man-bun problem, and someone to elevate the Mexican-food situation,” Dave Holmes writes in Esquire. “Ray Garcia is here to elevate the Mexican-food situation.” We couldn’t agree more. And, hey, maybe next year he can tackle the drought and man bun problem.