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TUCSON IRON CHEF DANNY PEREZ
DIRECTOR OF FOOD & BEVERAGE |EXECUTIVE CHEF JW MARRIOTT TUCSON STARR PASS
  Siri isn’t going to tell you how to be an executive chef. It’s gonna be people around you  May 2016 Issue | Vol. 4, No. 9                             that are going to get you ready to be an executive chef.










 



 








 
 
 
 

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Chef Danny Perez shares his biggest challenge during the 2015 Iron Chef Tucson
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Danny Perez |Tucson Iron Chef | Director of Food & Beverage | Executive Chef \ JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass |Tucson, Arizona If Danny Perez—Tucson’s reigning Iron Chef preparing to defend the title June 26th—had some advice to share about competition in the kitchen, he’d share two things. First he started with an anecdote. “We have a barbeque restaurant on property,” Perez shared. “We do competition barbeque from time to time. We have resources that other teams at a barbeque event do not. What I mean by that, is, gadgets to keep the smoker going, or a bigger smoker, or more tent space, or whatever. “After the first couple times of not doing as well as we could have done,” Perez continued, “and have somebody that has a barrel smoker and their little pop-up tent kick our butt, it’s being humble enough to go over there and say, Tell me everything you know.” Perez’s point: Accepting the fact that it’s not about the resources, sometimes it’s about experience. “That’s what I try to share with everybody that walks in the door saying, I want your job,” Perez got to the first piece of advice. “I love that. You should, right? How long it will take you to get it is what you need to be realistic about. The fact is that it’s easy to get out of high school, maybe not go to college, do some business classes, go to culinary school, and I’m going to be on the Food Network one day and be the executive chef of an awesome restaurant. That’s realistic to some that have the financial resources to propel them to that. “But the reality of it is,” Perez got to his second point, “that the reasons why I’m here is 22 years of washing dishes, scraping plates, talking to people, learning from others, working 15 hour days, missing my own birthday to be here. Siri isn’t going to tell you how to be an executive chef. It’s gonna be people around you that are going to get you ready to be an executive chef.” People like Perez’s maternal grandmother. When they lived in Mexico City (until he moved to Tucson with his parents and sister when he was 10 years old), he’d go to the market with her. Looking back, he sees her cooking style always had the intent on how to do it.