Leading the innovative culinary team at Mountain Shadows is Executive Sous Chef Richard Garcia. He joined Mountain Shadows in November 2017 as banquet chef before rising to his current role in July 2018. A seasoned chef with diverse culinary experience, his cooking style is all about using simple ingredients to create dishes with bold flavors.
Born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Garcia spent most of his life in Santa Fe. He found his love for food at a young age, seeing his grandfather cook at the restaurant he owned and later helping him with his dairy business. They would deliver to some of the best restaurants in Santa Fe, and Garcia became enamored of all the chefs he met.
His first culinary gig was in 1998, at the Coyote Cafe in Santa Fe, a restaurant that helped put Southwestern cuisine on the map. In 2005, he landed at Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale, Arizona and helped Chef Charles Wiley to reopen the hotel. One year later, he graduated from the Scottsdale Culinary Institute with his Associate Degree in Culinary Arts. Garcia then bounced around the Southwest, from the Eldorado Hotel in Santa Fe to Avalon in Scottsdale, where he held his first position as sous chef. He then found the Phoenix area calling him back, returning to Hotel Valley Ho as the sous chef at Trader Vic’s, and later working at the hotel’s signature restaurant, ZuZu, first as chef de cuisine and then as executive sous chef.
Garcia credits Chef Wiley with teaching him much of what he has learned and is proud to work under him yet again. When he’s not in the kitchen, he loves to fish, catch the latest movies and enjoy a good wine dinner.