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Meet Chef Gabriel DeLeon of Mi Dia From Scratch

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chef Gabriel DeLeon.

Chef Gabriel, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started working with my father in Red Oak, TX at the age of 16. It was my father’s first restaurant, La Parilla. I was a dishwasher. Two years later he opened La Margarita in my hometown, Irving, TX. That is where I learned how to operate a restaurant day to day.

In 1995, after my father passed away, I was left to run La Margarita with the help of my family. My father always told me if I was going to learn more about this business I would have to travel. Soon after he passed, I booked a trip to Chicago to see my favorite basketball player, Michael Jordan.

As soon as I walked into Frontera Grill by Rick Bayless, my vision of Mexican food changed forever. In 1999, I enrolled in culinary school at the Art Institute of Dallas. I graduated in 2001 and continued my education at the Culinary Institute of America. I studied and worked in Mexico City in 2001.

I began traveling to Europe in 2001 eating food from Joel Robuchon, Alain Ducasse, and Guy Savoy to expand my palate. In 2010 I collaborated with Steve Hartnett and Martin Meier to open Mi Dia.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My biggest disappointment was my restaurant Mazaryk in Addison, a modern Mexican concept. It opened in 2009 and unfortunately closed in 2010.

Mi Dia From Scratch – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I work for the Hartnett Group as a managing partner of Mi Dia From Scratch. We operate several concepts: Bob’s Steak and Chop House – Grapevine, Winewood, and Flips Patio Grill. I work in day to day operations at all three locations of Mi Dia From Scratch and spearhead culinary development for the brand. Mi Dia is known for amazing margaritas, Mexico City dishes, Sante Fe cuisine, and modern Tex-Mex.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I am proud to work with the entire Mi Dia From family. I am fortunate to work with a well-grounded, intelligent, passionate, creative and hard-working team that keeps me motivated.

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