Our Chef Robert Garcia is one of those rare, native Houstonians who was born here, grew up in the area, explored different cities, and then found his way back home to Texas.
A self-taught chef, Robert was always fascinated with food and flavors. He developed an early interest in cooking and as a young man, often cooked meals for his family when his parents were at work. After a short stint in the construction field, he began working in a restaurant in 1996 and enjoyed it so much he hung up his tool belt and started a career that took him to Colorado, California and Florida. He has worked at many fine restaurants where he often found himself sharing his knowledge and passion with his employees.
Robert’s passion for food is palpable as he talks about what inspires him. One of his favorite things about food is that it is always changing. He keeps up to date on food trends and loves the evolution of food. Robert is currently interested in the cultural fusion of food and loves some of the new Pacific Rim creations he has seen. He enjoys playing with flavors and says it is a balancing act. With a passion to “nourish people’s souls,” Robert tries to infuse all his Phoenicia inspirations with the fresh ingredients readily available in the store.
The art of creating amazing dishes is not lost on Robert and seeing people happy after a good meal is his favorite reward. He views food as a backdrop for a wonderful evening and believes great conversation, good food and lovely wine can make for a memorable evening. Enjoying being part of the memories that happen when good food abounds, Robert says modestly, “It is hard to be upset when you are eating delicious food.”
An outdoor person at heart, Robert loves to challenge his body with endurance running, golfing, cycling and fishing, and challenge his mind with chess and puzzles. His wife is trying to get him to make pottery and, as with all things, he is excited to try something new.
Robert and his wife come from large, extended families and often find themselves in impromptu cookouts or family evenings centered around food. A culinary hero to his nieces and nephews who are picky eaters, Uncle Robert has made broccoli and even Brussels sprouts something that the kids love! With the holidays upon us, you are sure to find Robert and his wife surrounded by family, grilling, barbecuing and enjoying all of his wonderful creations.
When asked what he loves about Phoenicia there was no hesitation. “The wide variety of food and the exposure to so many cultures,” he professed. Robert loves the palate Phoenicia provides for his masterpieces and you will never find him far from his all-time fave, the Fava Bean Salad.
Come to Phoenicia and let Chef Robert create an amazing backdrop for your next event!