Jose Garces 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. Garces studied Culinary Arts at Kendall College in Chicago, graduating in 1996.
Garces sold his restaurants to IdEATion Hospitality in 2018 as part of a restructuring. IdEATion along with Chef Garces now run seven restaurants in Philadelphia: Amada, Tinto, Village Whiskey, JG Domestic, Volver and Buena Onda. IdEATion and Chef Garces also manage 4 restaurants in Atlantic City, NJ at the Ocean Casino & Resort and Tropicana Casino & Resort: Amada – Ocean, Distrito Cantina – Ocean, Olon – Tropicana, and Okatshe – Tropicana . Distrito Cantina includes a reproduction of the Guapos Taco truck inside the Ocean Casino & Resort. For his work at these restaurants, he was named best chef, Mid-Atlantic region by the James Beard Foundation.
Garces has been a challenger on Iron Chef America, defeating Bobby Flay on a 2008 episode featuring melon.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. Garces debuted as an Iron Chef on January 17, 2010, when he defeated Seattle chef Rachel Yang in Battle Hawaiian Moi.