Meet the chef: Jose “Kiko” Rodriquez
Chef Jose “Kiko” Rodriguez brings a wide variety of skills and techniques to the Global Flavors Local Lunch: from Mexican to Spanish to Japanese.
Chef Kiko has quickly worked his way up the ranks in the restaurant business. He started as a dishwasher at the Rosewood – Inn of the Anasazi and then began helping Chef Patrick Gharrity with salad prep, learning invaluable knife skills. A couple years later, he worked with Chef James Campbell Caruso, making Italian-style sandwiches at Delicasa. He worked his way up to pantry cook and eventually the hot line at Anasazi under the tutelage of Chefs Martin Rios and Oliver Ridgeway. Less than a year later, Caruso invited Kiko to work at the then-newly-opened La Boca. He spent six years at both the Anasazi and La Boca before he went to La Boca full-time as their sous chef. All of these executive chefs saw something in Chef Kiko – raw talent, drive, hard work, creativity, a desire to learn, and a great attitude. This is what led to Chief Kiko simultaneously running the two kitchens at La Boca and Taberna and infusing the two different Old World Spanish menus with influences from his home of Veracruz, Mexico.
Today, Chef Kiko is the Executive Chef at izanami, the the up-scale Japanese gastro-pub located at Ten Thousand Waves. Here, Chef Kiko takes his Nuevo Latino concepts and melds them with the taste of Japan. He creates izakaya – small plates similar to the tapas he mastered at La Boca and Taberna – by using authentic Japanese products combined with meat and vegetables sourced locally. Always in season, 80% of their produce is local and organic, including some that they grow across the street.