Jose Garces is an Ecuadorian American chef, restaurant owner, and Iron Chef. He was born in Chicago to Ecuadorian parents. He won in the second season of The Next Iron Chef.
Chef Douglas Rodriguez opened Alma de Cuba in Philadelphia with Garces as his executive chef in 2001.
Garces opened his first restaurant in 2005, Amada, named after his grandmother. The Spanish tapas restaurant was followed by restaurant concepts with locations in Philadelphia, Chicago, Arizona, New Jersey, Palm Springs, Washington DC, and New York City. Following a few years of financial and legal challenges, Garces filed for bankruptcy in 2018 and sold his restaurants to IdEATion Hospitality as part of a restructuring.
IdEATion, along with Chef Garces, now run seven restaurants in Philadelphia: Amada, Tinto, Village Whiskey, Garces Trading Company, JG Domestic, Volvér, and Buena Onda. IdEATion and Chef Garces also manage four restaurants at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey: Amada - Ocean, Distrito Cantina - Ocean, Olon - Tropicana, and Okatshe - Tropicana.
Garces has been a challenger on Iron Chef America, defeating Bobby Flay on a 2008 episode featuring melon. He also competed in the second season of The Next Iron Chef and he was selected the sixth Iron Chef after defeating opponent chef Jehangir Mehta on November 22, 2009. Garces debuted as an Iron Chef on January 17, 2010, when he defeated Seattle chef Rachel Yang in Battle Hawaiian Moi. In 2023, Garces was a competitor in season 4 of Tournament of Champions.