CHEF CARIÑO CORTEZ IS A…
third-generation foodie who grew up in the restaurant business. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Accounting, Cariño pursued a culinary arts degree from the Culinary Institute of America to pursue her love of comida.
She spent her externship working in New York City three-Michelin-starred restaurant, Jean Georges, later going on to study authentic Mexican food in Chicago under Rick Bayless. At the Michelin-starred restaurant, Topolobampo, she worked as a lead line cook under Chef de Cuisine Andres Padilla, and was able to hone her culinary skills on the restaurant’s monthly menu development team.
She now lives in her home state of Texas to share her true passion for authentic Mexican cuisine and continue the family tradition with her family's restaurant business.
CONNECTION THROUGH COMIDA | TEDX SAN ANTONIO
Third generation chef Cortez uses on-stage food preparation as a metaphor for understanding and preserving the culture of family, organization, and community.
[RE]GENERATION | LA FAMILIA CORTEZ
La Familia Cortez has been a fixture on the San Antonio food scene for over 75 years. Their story began with Mi Tierra, which Pete and Cruz Cortez opened as a three-table cafe serving Tex-Mex in 1941, and has evolved into a multi-generational, four-restaurant empire. The most recent addition, Viva Villa Taqueria, is helmed by chef and granddaughter Cariño Cortez, who brings a renewed dedication to tradition, as well as culinary evolution, to the family business. Sponsored by Cacique
SAN ANTONIO TRICENTENNIAL EXCHANGE
San Antonio chefs Jeff Balfour (Southerleigh), Cariño Cortez (La Familia Cortez restaurants) and Jason Dady (Tre Trattoria and the rest) participated in a culinary exchange program in which they prepared a dinner in New Orleans