Born in Santiago, Chile, Joe came to America at the age of five, moving with his family to New York City. He has been studying cooking ever since, first learning traditional Chilean cooking methods and customs at his mother’s side. Family “cooking feasts” featured aunts and uncles getting together and cooking large amounts of food while talking about the old country.
His first formal training came at the famed French Culinary Institute in New York City where he developed his skill in the art of classical French cooking. After graduating from the Culinary Institute in 1992, Joe honed his culinary skills in the Big Apple, working at a variety of top New York restaurants including “Vong” under the reins of Jean-Georges Vongerichten learning how to take seasonal ingredients and applying French cooking technique.
Joe was inspired to further develop his craft by mastering the innovative style and technique of cutting-edge California cuisine. He moved to Los Angeles in 1996, the epicenter of the culinary “fusion” movement. He took a position at the Border Grill in Santa Monica. There he worked beside famed executive chefs Mary Sue Millikan and Susan Feniger, the “Two Hot Tamales,” where he perfected his skills in Latin-influenced cuisine. From there he moved back to New York.
In addition to traditional restaurant experience, Joe gained experience in the specialized art of catering for major special events, glittering galas, as well as small private dinners with his New York catering company “Urban Palate”. Special events he worked on included the Grammy Awards Governors Ball and the Time-Life 100th Anniversary Party at Radio City Music Hall along with Daniel Boulud. From there his travels took him back to Los Angeles to take on a consulting job on an Asian concept.
As well as consulting Joseph also created customized menus for intimate private dinner parties held in the estates of leading Hollywood agents and actors. Among the many “feathers” in his chef’s toque, were private parties he catered for then-President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, as well as many other world-renowned figures.
Joe brought his fusion experience to Westwood Village in 2000, joining the culinary staff of the Asian-Fusion eatery, “Tengu”. He supervised the development of their menu, introducing signature items.
From there Joe went on to open “Paladar” in Hollywood. The concept was one he called “Nuevo Cubano” and features traditional Cuban dishes with an American flair offering bistro-style foods that vary according to seasonal ingredients.
After leaving “Paladar”, Joe went on to become a restaurant consultant and personal chef. It gave Joe the creative freedom to work on concepts and dishes using the knowledge that he had acquired throughout his career.
In 2007, after 3 years of building a high end clientele including major celebrities and brands, Joe decided to partner up with fashion graphic designer Suray Hanada and launched “City Palate Catering Inc.”. They both share the vision of working within the parameters of foods that are clean, and light with seasonal and organic ingredients.
Suray was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina to an Italian mother and Japanese father. From her mother she learned to have a great appreciation for food and where it comes from. Everything was scratch made and locally sourced before it was even popular to do so. From her father Suray found her creative side. Starting at an early age, Suray and her sisters worked alongside dad in the family business which consisted of a flower nursery and florist shop.
Suray Attended the University of Buenos Aires, then went on to attend the University of Palermo where she completed her degree in graphic design.
After completing her degree, Suray again, worked alongside her father while working as a freelance graphic artist.
After 5 years, Suray moved to Los Angeles where she took a position at a major So-Cal fashion house called St. Johns. There Suray worked as the senior graphic designer. She worked directly with the design team using her abilities to create embellishments, hardware, and new concept designs.
In 2007, Suray partnered with Joe Herreros and launched “City Palate Catering Inc.”. Suray uses her creative design background and knowledge of food to help spruce up events. Again both sharing the vision of working within the parameters of foods that are clean, and light with seasonal and organic ingredients.