CHEF C. JOHN PRADO learned as a young man to appreciate and revere the experience a well cooked meal could create. Grandma Prado was a homemaker, and as such she held herself to the highest standards. Under her watchful and caring supervision, her family would receive three meals a day, prepared from scratch. Chef Prado admired the ebb and flow in the kitchen as he watched his grandmother gracefully prepare each meal with love, at times even lending a helping hand. These introductory experiences left a lasting impression, and commenced a value system that is still in place to day. “Fresh is best”, and “waste not want not”. Chef Prado’s prelude to cooking was in a modest Mexican restaurant that was quick to hire him to solely make salsa day in and day out.
Continuing to work in kitchens while pursuing music degrees from TAMUK and TAMUCC, the desire to cook as a career became overwhelming. With yet no formal training Chef Prado would be forced into a humble beginning in the kitchen: as a dishwasher. The journey started, working for a small artisan deli and enrolling to study culinary arts at Del Mar College. Using these fundamentals to climb the rungs from prep cook to head cook to Kitchen manager, Chef Prado was offered a position at The Prestigious Corpus Christi Town Club. The Club provided what would be the greatest “hands on” Culinary education around. The daily opportunity to learn varied from the techniques of French cuisine, making fresh sushi to hand crafted desserts. Being trained and apprenticed by Certified Executive Chefs instilled the philosophy to create refined and quality dishes in any style of cooking.
After leaving the Town Club as Sous Chef, positions as Chef de Cuisine and Sous Chef at various high-end restaurants led to an extended tenure as Sous Chef at The Corpus Christi Yacht Club. Under the tutelage of his Executive Chef Michael Scott Smith CEC, and mentor, Chef Prado was encouraged to participate in both local and state competitions, varying from local Farmers Market to Wine Festivals, and to pursue accreditation as a Certified Executive Chef. All the while, more extensive culinary education has included classes in advanced nutrition, management and cost management from Southwestern Oregon Community College and the American Culinary Federation. During his culinary career Chef Prado has been privileged enough to cook for several Presidents, foreign Ambassadors, The Royal Family of Jordan, and numerous film/TV celebrities. He has also received accolades in local publications and a Texas Monthly review touted “each plate presented by Chef Prado is lovingly tended to, with an eye for both presentation and taste,” now he plans to bring that sense of refinement and quality to his new home at Roosevelt's Fine Dining.