Chef Julio-Cesar Florez
A native of Lima, Peru, Julio-Cesar Florez, is extraordinarily connected to his Peruvian heritage which has served as a vocation and inspiration in his professional life. Florez started his professional culinary career in his mid-twenties, graduating from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Austin, TX in 2005.
Like many in the industry, Florez has worn all sorts of culinary hats. His first big venture came in 2006 as the chef de cuisine at the former Mirabelle Restaurant in northwest Austin. In 2008, Florez spent time in New York City, staging under Chef Wylie Dufresne at the Michelin-rated restaurant, WD50, and in 2015, received a certificate of completion for intensive training in hydrocolloids from The French Culinary Institute in New York City.
Before holding his current title as executive chef and founder of Biru Cocina Peruana, Florez held executive chef positions at Austin based restaurants La Sombra Bar & Grill, Gusto Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar, Hyde Park Bar & Grill, Malaga Tapas & Bar, Isla, where he served high-end Peruvian cuisine, and just recently as chef de cuisine at Lucky Robot, where he introduced Nikkei cuisine to Austin for the first time. He is also the founding chef of the popular downtown food truck, Llama’s Peruvian Food Trailer, as well as holding several Peruvian dinners with Dinner Lab. He is proud to be Austin's biggest advocate for Peruvian cuisine.
When approaching his craft, Florez likes to keep his food simple and focused. Using only the highest quality of ingredients, he makes sure that the tradition behind each dish is honored. Like any good chef, Florez upholds respect for each person in his kitchen. A strong team environment is paramount to him and he places great focus on working together with his staff to make sure the product comes out as desired. “I want to make sure people are happy at work and that they get a sense of satisfaction when they accomplish a task.”