Jose Garces is a fixture on the Philadelphia restaurant scene, where he currently has eight restaurants (along with two in Atlantic City, N.J., and one in New Hope, Pa.) ranging from his Spanish restaurant, Amada, and Village Whiskey, known for its great burger and expansive collection of spirits, to his fast-casual taqueria Buena Onda.
He’s also a winner of the TV cooking show Iron Chef, the 2009 James Beard Foundation Award winner for best chef in the Mid-Atlantic, author of two cookbooks and a philanthropist through the Garces Foundation.
And he’s adding new descriptors to his biography: Garces is now a producer of videos, specifically a series of 8-minute shows called Cooking Space. He’s also an instructor, teaching remote cooking classes in a series called Latin Live.
Next on his docket, are two virtual restaurants he’s developing with CloudKitchens.
Garces says these delivery-only concepts might be a solution to providing living wages to cooks by streamlining operations, but he also hasn’t given up on full-service dining. Despite the existential crisis that traditional restaurants were facing even before the pandemic, and the devastation that they have experienced over the past year, Garces is optimistic about the future.
In this podcast, the chef and restaurateur discusses how to make money from videos, what it takes to motivate staff, the reckoning that the industry has to face about its past, and his hopes for the future.
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