Wes Avila was born in Los Angeles and raised in Pico Rivera. After graduating from culinary school in Pasadena, Wes moved to Carmel By The Sea, CA to work for Walter Manzke at L’Auberge Carmel. After working there for a little over a year, he returned to Los Angeles to work at Palos Verdes Country Club, followed by the much lauded Palate Food + Wine with Gary Menes. Following Palate, Wes attended school in Paris, France at Le Centre de Formation d’Alain Ducasse, returning to LA to work at Marché, and then Le Comptoir as Sous Chef, then Chef de Cuisine. During that time, he spent time traveling abroad to Europe and Latin America.
Wes founded Guerrilla Tacos as a street cart in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles in August 2012. A year later he opened Guerrilla Tacos as a food truck and then as a brick and mortar restaurant in 2018, earning a Bib Gourmand by the Michelin Guide to California in 2019.
In 2017, Chef Wes was named a James Beard Semi-Finalist in the category ‘Best Chef, West’. In that same year, Wes published his first book, Guerrilla Tacos: Recipes from the streets of LA. Since opening his restaurant in 2018, his commitment to using the best ingredients available has not wavered. In 2020, Chef Wes was voted by readers of Los Angeles Magazine as best local chef in Los Angeles. In June 2020, Chef Wes opened Piopiko Tacos as a culinary partner with Ace Hotel Kyoto.
Awards & Press
- James Beard Award