Please join us in welcoming a new member of the Macayo team, Chef Iker Castillo from Tijuana, Mexico!
Sharisse Johnson and Chef Iker first met last summer in Tijuana after being introduced by the owner and principal of the Culinary Art School in Tijuana, where he received a formal culinary education. When they met there was an immediate connection between her vision and goals for our Macayo brand and a dream Chef Iker has had for many years. That dream to bring his passion behind Mexico food to the United States. This was also one of our founder’s (and Sharisse’s father) Woody Johnson’s dreams as well; to introduce a chef from Mexico and partner up with them to bring innovative dishes to our Macayo menus. Chef Iker’s culinary background is steeped in the flavors and traditions of Mexico – born of his extensive travels among Mexico City, Guanajuato, Sinaloa, Baja California, and more, and honed with his formal education at the Tijuana Culinary Institute. His culinary palette is also colored by time spent living in Italy, immersed in its culture of family, tradition and fine food. It was there that he discovered his passion for the art of cooking and realized he was meant to be a chef.
Spring 2017 will see the launch of a new concept, Mercado Negro by Macayo’s in Phoenix, featuring an exclusive new menu designed by Chef Iker. He has been hired as the Chef for that location and throughout the construction process will test his new items in our test-kitchen at our Scottsdale & Shea location.
While we will look to Chef Iker for his expertise in culinary procedures and flavors, our intentions are not to change any of the Macayo foundation. How could we touch Woody’s recipes that we have been using for the last 70 years?! As we are always trying to grow and get better every day, we have asked him to take a look at some of our current practices and procedures and help us make any changes in order to provide better execution in our kitchens.
Stay tuned for more information and updates on our new restaurant, we will keep you updated all throughout the process! And don’t forget to visit Chef Iker at our Scottsdale & Shea location and try one of his new dishes! We hope you will join us as we embark on the next exciting Macayo chapter!