Celebrity chef Richard Sandoval is pleased to announce the appointment of Jose Luis Flores as the new corporate pastry chef of Richard Sandoval Restaurants. Flores will oversee the dessert menus for all of Richard Sandoval’s Washington restaurants including Zengo, Masa 14, and both El Centro D.F. locations, plus the upcoming Toro Toro. Guests can anticipate enticing new desserts such as Coconut Profiteroles, cream puffs, toasted coconut ice cream, Manjar Blanco and chocolate sauce at Zengo; Chocolate Terrine Masa 14, triple-layered deep chocolate brownie cake, dark, milk & white chocolate and black plum sauce at Masa 14, as well as the Banana Tres Leches, passion fruit sauce and toasted soft meringue at El Centro D.F. and El Centro D.F. Georgetown.
For nearly 15 years, Jose Luis Flores has been treating fans of Latin and Nuevo Latino cuisine to enticing flavors and sweet delights. In 2010, Flores joined Richard Sandoval Restaurants to serve as the executive chef at Zengo New York. His role was expanded to oversee the kitchen at Toro Toro, Chef Richard Sandoval’s acclaimed Pan-Latin steakhouse in Miami.
Born in 1973 in a small town outside of Mexico City, Flores’s first kitchen memories are of his grandmother, whipping egg whites by hand to make a perfect génoise cake. She was a cook for wealthy families and would often bring home ingredients that were exotic to the Mexican pantry, piquing Flores’s culinary curiosity. After losing his father at the age of eight, he took over cooking for his family under the tutelage of his mother. When he turned 16, Flores decided to make cooking his career and found a job as a dishwasher in a local restaurant named La Luna.
Desiring more for his professional life and his family, Flores relocated his family to New York City and began working at the famed China Grill restaurant in Manhattan. Through intense dedication and commitment over the next two years, he studied and perfected his English and, following his childhood interest in baking, ultimately became the head pastry chef.
In 1997, during a research dinner with industry colleagues at the popular Latin restaurant Patria, Flores was introduced to chef Douglas Rodriguez and the contagious energy of Nuevo Latino fare, a fusion of Caribbean and Central and South American cuisine. Over the next 12 years, he partnered with his friend and mentor, chef Rodriguez, taking on the responsibility of corporate executive chef & pastry chef at these award-winning restaurants: Patria in New York, Alma de Cuba in Philadelphia, Deseo in Scottsdale, Ola Miami and D Rodriguez Cuba in Miami.
Prior to joining Richard Sandoval Restaurants, Flores worked for Emilio and Gloria Estefan under the restaurant group cb5. Together they opened Bongos Cuban Café at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood. Here Flores was able to showcase his latest innovative interpretation of Cuban cuisine.
Flores is the author of Dulce: Desserts in the Latin American Tradition, a cookbook that gives readers a peak into the unchartered dessert world of Latin-American cuisine. Dulce is one of the first cookbooks to be devoted to Latin-America sweets. Additionally he has trained at the Edwal Notter Confectionary School, as well as Canainpa, the National Industry of Bread in Mexico City. Flores is also annually tapped to participate in Food Network’s South Beach Wine & Food Festival.