20140909_161235Meet The Chef

Meet the Chef at the famous Z’Tejas Mexican Restaurant

We would like to welcome Chef James Blanton to Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill Restaurants as Chief Executive Chef

Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill, would like to announce award-winning chef, James Blanton,  as the new Chief Executive Chef.  Chef James has been working as the Corporate Executive Chef for Iron Cactus the last two years.

Chef James Blanton received his certification through the A.C.F. 3 year Apprentice program at the Four Seasons under the tutelage of Chef Elmar Praumbs  who is one of the top chefs in his company and has received numerous awards from the Bon Appetit, Food and Wine and Texas Monthly.

After culinary school Chef James spent time at both Austin Country club for 3 years serving as the sous chef and also spent two years at the Austin club in Downtown Austin.  Chef James then returned to Houston to continue to grow and learn more about food service and back of the house operations.

James served as the Executive sous chef of The University of Houston Hilton RHIM program where he taught food classes.  He also assisted his executive chef with many Gala events and was also honored as a junior member of the Chaine de Rotisseurs the oldest gastronomic food society founded in Paris in 1928.  James was also the Executive Chef of the Plaza Hilton in the world renowned Houston Medical Center for three years.

After leaving the Hilton Corporation, Chef James started working with Restaurateur Tony Vallone of the famous Vallone group which owned 5 different concepts and the flagship Tonys in Houston.  Chef James was in charge of Tonys at Home catering company that did over 6 million dollars of off sight catering which took care of signature events for guests up to 2500 such as the Herman Memorial Gala and the Holocaust ball.

In 2001 Chef James relocated back to Austin where he now calls home.  Chef James was instrumental in the startups of several restaurants when Sysco food service came calling in 2004.  Chef James served as the Corporate Executive Chef for 10 years serving the central Texas region and organized and executed production for the ACL fest, COTA and served as the liaison with Chef Robert Irvine of the Food Networks Wounded Warrior Project serving over 5000 troops and their families for 5 years running.

Chef James Blanton has 26 years in the food industry, he has a vast knowledge of several cuisines and we would like to welcome him to the Z’Tejas Southwestern Grill team.



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