He said he wanted to be a priest ….
Instead, he was drawn to gang life. “I spent my 21st birthday in jail, sitting in a cell with three other guys. I asked myself if this was what I really wanted or am I going to turn it around.”
Arizona native Fernando Ruiz had a lot of ups and downs in his life, but all that changed when he moved out of Arizona and found a new life in New Mexico. With determination and the help of his friends and family, this charismatic man turned everything around.
He became the Executive Chef at the pristine and popular Ore House, as well as Milagro 139. He also worked with The Lodge at Chama and was Executive Chef at Santa Café. Most recently, taking on a new role as Executive Chef for Palace Prime Steak + Seafood. Where he will add his unique style to the traditional steak house.
Chef Ruiz holds the distinction of being a three-time Food Network Champion. Ruiz went on Food Network, winning Guy’s Grocery Games, Chopped and most recently, beat the nearly unstoppable Bobby Flay.
Chef Ruiz is one of the kings of Southwestern Mexican-American style cooking and has achieved a level of success he would never have dreamt about in his youth.