2018 Chef Lineup
Born in Toluca, Mexico, Galicia moved to San Antonio in 2002. He studied psychology at The University of Texas at San Antonio for a few years before switching to culinary and graduating from The Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio (CIA).
Following his time at the CIA, Galicia diversified his culinary experience by working at Michelin-starred restaurants Atelier Crenn in San Francisco and Moto in Chicago. Galicia always had the dream of opening his own restaurant. While cultivating his dreams, he worked at Texas fast food chain Taco Cabana in order to save funds to open Mixtli.
Chef Gregory Gourdet is the culinary mastermind behind Departure restaurants in Portland, OR and Denver, CO, where he pairs local bounty with the bold flavors and traditions of Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Korea to create modern Asian fare. A native New Yorker from Queens who honed his culinary skills within celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurant dynasty, the foundation of his cooking is based on technique-driven preparations layered with flavor complexity. A self-proclaimed health freak and avid runner, Gourdet views food as nourishment. His mindful life approach shines through in his cooking, as he offers diners dishes that allow freshness, seasonality, and bold, alternative ingredients to star on the plate.
Michael Jordan joined El Gaucho Bellevue in October 2017 after nearly 12 years as Chef/Owner of the award-winning Las Vegas restaurant Rosemary's. Chef Michael worked alongside Emeril Lagasse at Emeril's, NOLA and opened Emeril's New Orleans Fish House. Chef Michael attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY and served on the Program Advisory Board of Directors at the Le Cordon Blue College of Culinary Art and spent five years teaching at The Seattle Culinary Academy.
Born in Hilo on the Big Island, Chef Sheldon acquired his love for cooking from his parents. His path led from Hilo High to the Culinary Institute of the Pacific onto an internship at Walt Disney World. Upon returning to Hawaii, Sheldon attended Maui Culinary Academy.
Sheldon competed in Bravo’s Top Chef: Seattle as a finalist and winning Fan Favorite. He has recently opened up his very restaurant, Tin Roof in Kahului, Maui, and serves up local dishes in take-out bowls. Chef Sheldon’s food is a playful, fun take on classic dishes. His mix of innovative modern cuisine and adherence to tradition influence his dishes and help shape his menus.
Torres was born in El Paso, Texas. Early on, he was immersed in the heritage of Zacatecas and greater Mexico, both in travel and through daily life. Even as a child Torres knew immediately that the kitchen held his heart.
In 2013, Torres opened Mixtli with Chef Diego Galicia and has continued to dedicate himself to his craft. Each time a new menu concept is developed for Mixtli, Torres researches for hours at The University of Texas at San Antonio’s library, where he has a special partnership and is able to review historic Mexican cookbooks and recipes for inspiration.
Brooke Williamson was the winner of Bravo's "Top Chef All-Stars" Season 14, and was the runner-up in "Top Chef" Season 10, set in Seattle. She hosted MTV’s first foodie series, "House of Food," and has also appeared on programs including "Knife Fight," "Watch What Happens Live," "Home & Family" and the international talk show, "Arise 360." Along with husband Nick Roberts, Williamson is co-owner and co-chef of several successful L.A.-area ventures including Hudson House, The Tripel, Playa Provisions and the culinary retail boutique Tripli-Kit, along with a fast-casual Hawaiian restaurant called Da Kikokiko.
Jason Wilson's culinary career spans over 25 years in the Pacific Northwest. His American regional cooking style has earned numerous awards including the 2010 James Beard Award for Best Chef Northwest. As Culinary Director for Fire & Vine Hospitality, Chef Jason develops the vision and direction for the El Gaucho family of restaurants, Miller's Guild, The Lakehouse, Civility & Unrest and Eritage resort in Walla Walla. Jason's innovative approach has helped him play an influential role as the Executive Chef and Product Developer for Coffee Flour.