Stray Horse Taps Julio Cesar Valdivia as Executive Chef

Stray Horse, a newly revamped restaurant serving upscale Texan cuisine, has hired Executive Chef Julio Cesar Valdivia and released a new menu featuring the rich and wild flavors of Texas. The restaurant, located on the lobby-level of the JW Marriott Houston by The Galleria offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, in a warm, neighborly, and elegant environment with first-class hospitality.

Originally from Lima, Peru, and inspired by his travels throughout Mexico and Central America, Chef Valdivia designed the all-new menu with locally-sourced and foraged ingredients in mind, creating a place where the bounty of the land, sky and sea come together in a unique and wholly Texan way. Specialty dishes including the Rodeo Beef Tartare, Angus Ribeye with Black Marrow Butter, Salty Key Lime Pie, and much more will be served to Houstonians and travelers seeking a homestead for creatively prepared cuisine that can’t be found anywhere else.

Chef Valdivia, who has more than 14 years of experience as an Executive Chef in hotels in Peru, Colombia, Dubai, India, and Costa Rica, has a passion for new flavors, textures, and ingredients. He strongly believes in the storytelling behind each dish, and is excited to bring his hospitality experience and love for gastronomy to the reinvention of Stray Horse.

“I am thrilled to welcome our Houston neighbors and hotel guests from all over the world to Stray Horse. Texas offers a wide variety of naturally occurring flavors, ingredients, and influences that we utilize in our menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and cocktails,” Executive Chef Valdivia says. “We hope to provide an authentically Western, warm, and elevated experience to our guests.”

“Chef Valdivia is an incredibly worldly Executive Chef and we know guests will be impressed by his menu design and impeccable taste,” says Juan Marin Vivas, Food & Beverage Operations Manager. “We are looking forward to welcoming those who live and work in our area as well as our hotel guests to enjoy our new menu and casually elegant interiors.”

The Stray Horse culinary team sources their ingredients at the peak of their freshness to elevate their menu offerings and provide an exceptional culinary experience. Diners will enjoy meals prepared with a colorful, creative and delectable take on Texas cuisine. Ingredients including squid-ink dyed bone marrow butter, Shiner Bock BBQ sauce, and yellow truffle garlic sauce elevate dishes from delicious to divine.

The interior setting of the restaurant implements design elements reminiscent of iconic Texan ranches including leather upholstery on chairs and bench seating, saddle inspired high-back bar stools, and natural grain wood tables. The bar and lounge area features horizontal tiles inspired by rattlesnake skin, though the only bite patrons will receive is that of a crisp handcrafted cocktail while watching mixologists at work or while relaxing with friends on the cream and dusty blue couches throughout the space.

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