Chef Luis Valenzuela
Originally from Guadalajara, Mexico-born Luis Valenzuela had a passion for food at an early age. Luis immigrated to Toronto in 2011 to study the culinary arts at George Brown College, where he quickly developed his unique style and flair, embracing traditional methods while staying true to his Latin roots. He then went on to Toronto's notable North 44 and Bymark restaurants, working with renowned Chef Owner Mark McEwan and Executive Chef Andrew Ellerby.
Luis continued to work under influential leaders who helped shape his culinary style. His travels took him to Europe, where he worked under Chef Bruno Barrbieri in Verona, Italy and Chef Adolfo Munoz in Toledo, Spain. After returning to Toronto, Luis became Head Chef at Café Cinquecento in 2006 and quickly rose through the culinary scene and became Executive Chef at Torito Tapas Bar in 2007. Throughout these experiences, Luis has been able to create balance by contributing back to the community through meaningful charitable causes and campaigns.
In 2012, he became Co-Owner and Executive Chef of Carmen Cocina Española, serving Toronto Spanish-inspired cuisine paired with Luis' bold influence. In 2013, Carmen received a nomination as one of Canada's Best New Restaurants by Enroute Magazine.
In the spring of 2017 Luis made his debut on the small screen, starring in a cooking show on Gusto TV "The Latin Kitchen" is an upbeat half hour of culinary favourites from Mexico, Spain and Venezuela.
Luis' culinary philosophy reflects the rich diversity of Toronto. He articulates global flavours while also honouring the land, working with southern Ontario producers and farmers to seek out the finest regional ingredients. Currently Luis is the owner and Executive Chef from El Moro Latin Kitchen, head Chef at Mad Mexican and teaches as a culinary professor at George Brown College.
Luis is passionate about making a difference to cuisine in Canada, one dish at a time. Ongoing and devoted to his craft, Luis is also passionate about mentoring young cooks to discover their talents in the same way he was encouraged. He is proud to foster strong and dynamic teams that are continuously learning and striving for excellence.