Jimmy Garcia was born on 24th July 1987. Born to a Spanish father and his mother hailing from Wakefield, this Northerner was bought up on stories of his Spanish grandmother feeding the family off the home grown vegetable patch found in the back garden, and living off the live stock that surrounded their family home in Asturias in the northern region of Spain. Jimmy didn’t realise then just how much of an influence this would have on his future relationship with food and his ways and style of cooking.
In 2003 aged 16, Jimmy started working as a waiter in a 2 Rosette restaurant, Wolskis in Wakefield. Jimmy’s talkative nature led him to becoming friendly with the kitchen staff and he quickly moved from waiting on tables to working on the starters and desserts section.
Finishing school that year, he decided travelling was next on his agenda and set of to the Alps to do a ski season in Corchevel. Landing a job as a chalet chef and starting to establish his creativity for all things food, he then travelled to Palma and found himself landing the job as a chef on board a private yacht whose regular clientele included Arabic royalty...read more
Although his passion for the culinary world never waivered, he decided it was a good idea to continue his studies and in 2007 went back to the UK to embark on a Business and Economics degree, still whilst going back every summer in the role as the private chef on board the yacht. Faced with having to produce stunning meals with no budget this gave Jimmy the chance to refine his skills and three years later whilst holding down a brokering job in the city, he opened the doors to his first ever pop-up the ‘Southwest Supper Club’. Held in Jimmy’s front room, he borrowed the tables and chairs from his local church, advertised through social media and suddenly had his first sell out pop-up experience.
Off the back of this success in January 2012 and with a feeling in his gut, he said goodbye to the world of brokering and returned to Corchevel where he began to put the wheels in motion to head up a ski chalet catering operation, which, based on Jimmy’s culinary skills, over the course of the next three years would come to play host to many well known VIP clientele.
Meanwhile in the UK Jimmy’s pop-ups were gathering pace and public interest and his second Pop up ‘The Wild Food Kitchen’was swiftly followed by ‘The Secret Garden’ and ‘The Lodge’ which resulted in being so successful it has now turned into a permanent restaurant open all year round. It is no surprise that Jimmy has been named ‘ The Pop-up King’ by The Sunday Timesand ‘London’s pop-up master’ by The Evening Standard.
In July 2012, as Jimmy started to draw on his unique creativity and passion to be a different chef than all the rest, he was approached to turn a disused warehouse into a working restaurant next to the Olympic Park. Receiving rave reviews this led to being asked to cook with Radio One personality Sara Cox on the Oxfam grow campaign and news of Jimmy’s unique dining experiences began to spread.
The events side of Jimmy’s private catering business properly exploded in 2013 and this has naturally led him to cater for some of the biggest corporations and agencies that are around today. Clients include Google, Sky, Emirates Airline, Virgin Media, Sony, Adidas and TFL to name a few. 2012 was also the year which saw the wedding catering section of the company simultaneously gathering pace and now successfully caters 30 weddings a year in the UK and abroad.
Jimmy’s first step into television came in 2014 on London Lives ‘Food Junkies’ where he was asked to cook on the monthly guest slot on their breakfast news show. 2014 also saw Garcia appearing on our screens on This Morning cooking in a Christmas pop-up special for volunteers. This led to a three part series focusing in on dinner party cooking which was swiftly followed by an appearance on the Paul O’Grady Show where he demonstrated how to cook with offal. The public began to fall in love with Jimmy Garcia, the boy next door chef.
Jimmy started to become a name on the media’s tongue and reviews, write ups and articles written on him and by him started to appear in; The Telegraph, The Times, The Financial Times, The Evening Standard, The Guardian, The Sunday Post, Shortlist, Time Out, Vogue and Waitrose Food and Wine magazine to name only a few.
The summer of 2015 ended on a high as Jimmy released his first cookbook ‘Social Eats’ with publisher Kyle, a book that demonstrates how to cook restaurant quality food for your friends easily at home. In true Jimmy Garcia creative style the launch of the book was set against the back drop of the Emirates Cable Car where guests attending the launch were invited to enter the cable car and dine on Jimmy’s specially tailored menu whilst taking in the breathtaking London skyline. Jimmy was also honored to be asked to be the guest food editor of Grazia magazine throughout November and December of last year.
It is safe to say that Jimmy’s philosophy when it comes to food is to show how simplicity and creativity can go hand in hand whilst not compromising on flavour or well sourced ingredients. He also knows how important it is not too loose sight of this with any single client, project, brief or menu on a small or large scale. Whoever encounters this cheeky Northern chef will clearly see that he was born to cook for others, and that to try and provide an element of fun with everything you create is the most important thing, as to cook for others and to create a unique experience for them is indeed, a privilege.