Growing up with the smells of fresh made tortillas, hand made tamales, and rustic Mexican cuisine, the young Chef Garza always knew The Culinary Arts would mold his life. With fourteen aunts and uncles, numerous cousins and one sister, Grandma’s kitchen was always a very lively place.
Always looking to Family for guidance, Chef Garza always looked to the patriarch. The late Chef Richard Bazan was also bitten by the Culinary Bug. Chef Bazan began his career at the prominent Natler’s Bakery, in San Antonio, as a dishwasher and later became owner of his own bakery, but was not meant to be. Never waiving from his dream, Chef Bazan worked as a Pastry Chef over the next few year, then later went on to own Chez Bazan Bakery and Café in Tyler, TX. He was also the founder and director of the East Texas Chef’s Association, a chapter of the American Culinary Federation.
Chef Garza feels comforted to have his uncle looking after him to this day.
With wise words of wisdom and a hard work ethic, Chef Garza Began his journey as a young man and started an internship offered at the High School level. Chef Garza served as a sort of journeyman and worked five days a week, and worked all aspects of the Hotel Business. Immediately stepping foot into the kitchen Chef Garza felt a new world of adventure was ahead, he was no longer in his Grandmothers kitchen.
Wanting more, and at the advice of a childhood friend, Chef Garza rushed into the doors of the Radisson Hotel Downtown Market Square at the age of sixteen. He began, as he expected, at the smallest rung of the Hotel Business, as a Banquet Houseman. Believing that there are no small roles to the industry, he quickly rose to Banquet Captain, Banquet Manager, and Assistant Restaurant Manager. Chef Garza was recognized as employee of the month and employee of the year in 1999. These accomplishments did not hinder his duties as a High School student. Quickly after graduation Chef Garza felt the need for advancement and new challenges and decided to transfer to the Kitchen Department at the hotel.
In April of 2001 and once again beginning anew Garza began working under the new chef, Chef Charles “Buddy” Jung, CSC. Chef Garza began as a prep cook then, once again wanting to further his career, he put all of his efforts into gaining advancement. Within two years, Chef Garza was given the position as Sous Chef, which he held until departing the Radisson Hotel in 2007.
During his time with Chef Jung, and following in his example, Chef Garza joined the Texas Chef’s Association and the American Culinary Federation in April of 2004.Once again rising to the occasion Chef Garza was asked to serve under the Directorship of Chef Jung. He served four years on the Board of Directors of the San Antonio Chapter. As a member of these prestigious organizations Chef Garza began competing in TCA and ACF sanctioned culinary competitions in several Texas cities. Now competing for six years Chef Garza has amassed several awards including, eight ACF Medals, four TCA Medals, and over ten other trophies and cash prizes, with no end in sight.
After a competition in 2006 Chef Paul Williams, CEC, then from The River Oaks Country Club, noticed the culinary skills of young Chef Garza. Chef Williams later moved to The Laredo Country Club and extended the opportunity to fill the position of Executive Sous Chef. This created internal conflict, staying with a company and Chef that has given him many opportunities, or go out on his own. With the blessings of Chef Jung, and the constant motivation to succeed, Chef Garza accepted. Joining the Laredo Country Club in September of 2007, Chef Garza continues to strive for success, with the help of Chef Williams, one Sous Chef, and a team of twenty eight. Chef Garza’s dedication to furthering the culinary tradition, he is actively striving to become the founding director of a chapter of the TCA in Laredo Texas. During the school year Chef Garza serves as a mentor to the United High School students teaching them the Culinary Industry, thus completing the circle, and giving to others what was afforded to him.
Having worked with the Texas Chef’s Association for several years, noticing the dedication and work ethics, during the 2008 election process, Chef Garza was nominated for Director of the Texas Chef’s Association San Antonio Chapter. In a twist of fait, there was a tie, between mentor and student, which saw Chef Garza winning the position. Chef Garza looks to continue, and further elevate the Chapter and proudly invites anyone interested in the culinary industry to come and visit the San Antonio Chapter of the Texas Chef’s Association, a Chapter of The American Culinary Federation, at one of the monthly meetings, held at several locations around San Antonio. The meetings are held the first Tuesday of every month at 4:30pm.
1 part water
1 part cornctarch
2 parts morton salt. do not use popcorn salt for it tend s to get crumblly.
1. In sauce pan, add corn starch, and water to make paste. Get it smooth...
2. Heat until it is warm, to 120 degrees until it binds.
3. Add salt, and mix until you can pull it away from the sauce pan.
4. Tootsie roll in saran wrap until you want to use it. Do not let the air hit it.
I use natural spices, and fresh herbs for color....
Stone color: Black Pepper
Shades of brown: anything from cinnamon to using coffe in place of water.
Yellows: Saffroon, OJ, and such
Green: extract of Parsley, Spinach.
Pond water: Extract of blueberries, Red Cabbage.
White: Just above recipe..
You'll get the picture.... You should see my piece I'm working on now for January or March. 3 Frogs in a pond setting...
See you guys are in the groove with your Bio's... How did you do at the Salon in Austin? My guys took Silver, 2 bronze. Sorry I missed you at the Taste of SA second night. We'll probably see you in March at the Salon in SA. We'll be working on a trip to Conroe in January.