Candace Ochoa takes over the kitchen at Bazaar Meat by José Andrés, a member of the Eater 38 at the Sahara Las Vegas. The new executive chef will oversee all culinary operations for the restaurant. Ochoa has been with ThinkFoodGroup, the company behind chef José Andrés’ group of restaurants, for 10 years, and is the only executive chef to have worked at all of Andrés’ Bazaar locations.
Ochoa worked as executive sous chef for Bazaar Meat since 2018, and also assisted with the restaurant’s grand opening in 2014. She helped open The Bazaar by José Andrés at SLS Hotel in South Beach as sous chef, and served as a line cook at The Bazaar by José Andrés at SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. She assisted with the grand openings of Bazaar Mar by José Andrés at SLS Brickell in Miami Beach and Mercado Little Spain in Hudson Yards in New York City. Originally from Los Angeles, Ochoa earned her associate degree in culinary arts from The Art Institute of California.
Here, Ochoa talks about some of her plans as executive chef and how the restaurant is coping with COVID-19 restrictions issued by the state. Through March 15, restaurants can open at 35 percent occupancy with six people per table. Masks are mandatory when diners are not actively eating or drinking.
Eater Vegas: Do you have any changes you plan to make to the menu now that you are in charge?
Candace Ochoa: Our meat program is exceptional, although we’d like to showcase a new rib-eye or new cut of meat monthly. I’d also like to venture out with showcasing vegetables in a new and exciting way. We have quite a few guests come in that are vegetarian, vegan, or just want more vegetables in their meal. We’d like to cater to them and display that we can do exceptional vegetables as well. We are currently working with some local farms to get that up and running. My team and I are very excited for the future menu.
Awards & Press
- James Beard Award