Famous for introducing the Tapas (small plate) dining model to the American culinary world, this Spanish-born chef operated a number of popular restaurants, including The Bazaar (in Los Angeles and Miami) and Jaleo (in the Washington, D.C. area and Las Vegas).
In 2003, he won the James Beard Foundation's Best Mid-Atlantic Chef honor.
In 2012, he became the head of Spanish studies at the International Culinary Center. He also taught courses at both Harvard University and George Washington University.
A native of Mieres, Spain, he later lived and worked in several American cities. His marriage resulted in three daughters.
He began his career by working under the renowned chef Ferran Adrià at Adria's elBulli restaurant in Catalonia, Spain.