If you’ve eaten at Salazar any time in the past half-year (and really, who hasn’t at this point?), there’s a good chance you’ve come into contact with chef Jonathan Aviles’ cooking. The young chef has been the driving kitchen force for the restaurant for months now, though opening chef/partner Esdras Ochoa remained the face of the franchise, but now Aviles is branching out on his own.
That’s often how these things work: Opening chefs draw up the starter menus and show up for R&D nights, media check-ins, or when someone doesn’t show up for their shift on the line, but mostly it’s the lesser-known folks behind the scenes who are checking steak temperatures, ordering produce, and making sure a night where several hundred diners might stop in and expect fresh flour tortillas goes smoothly. That’s where Aviles comes in.
The former graduate of Le Cordon Bleu is now fully at the helm of Salazar, a GQ best new restaurant and still one of the hardest tables to land in under two hours on a Saturday night. He’s been working the grill and expediting food daily for months, slowly dropping in some subtle hints about his role with new non-Ochoa dishes on the menu.
Awards & Press
- James Beard Award