Chef Jonathan Zaragoza was raised on Chicago’s Southside by a tight-knit family with strong cooking roots — he recalls standing on a step stool, helping his mother stir eggs as a five year old. At the age of 12, in the backyard of their home, Zaragoza began learning to make birria, roasted goat from Jalisco, in a wood-burning oven built by his grandfather and father. His task was to start the fire, tending to it until the goat was ready to go in for its overnight roast. In 2007, Birrieria Zaragoza opened its doors giving Zaragoza a platform to create and continue learning from while diving headfirst into Chicago’s hospitality industry. From working at Sepia and Sixteen as a young cook, cutting his teeth on the Michelin circuit, to becoming the chef of Masa Azul at 22, Zaragoza’s culinary abilities have afforded him acclaim and the world as his kitchen. His path has taken him throughout Mexico, deep into its rich culinary heritage, to bring its traditions with him to London, Dubai, Paris and all across the US. Lately, you’ll find Jonathan cooking at his restaurants Birrieria Zaragoza and El Oso when he’s not raising his pup Wednesday.
Awards & Press
- James Beard Award