Not many opportunities show up for a skateboarding, graffiti obsessed drop out. Washing dishes put Roberto Lara in the restaurant business. Graffiti and boarding gave his creative self an outlet. He had to learn, struggle, fail, and be inspired by all of it to find himself where he is today. According to Lara, in a kitchen you work your way up the ladder. Along the way, priorities sometimes went by the wayside. It was easy to get a restaurant job, and just as easy to get fired. The grunt work gave him two things; a view of the workings of organized, high-volume kitchens, and the desire to keep moving up the ladder. As he meandered his way in and out of restaurants, bad relationships, bad roommates, and bad choices, with short stints in LA, Kansas City, New York, Phoenix, Denver, and even a failed attempt at art school, Berto kept building culinary skills. He kept one foot in the streets bombing walls in the wee hours of night, painted scrap pieces of wood, thrifted frames, sketched in pads, and soon developed a one-line skill. He knew if he kept at the cooking gig, he would someday be able to translate his creative drive into cuisine. He is here folks. He says he has never worked harder or been more focused. Success is a powerful motivator. Find him as Chef de cuisine at Hotel Andaluz bringing his culinary creations to life. You might even see a one-line creation made from a drizzle of sauce served up at MÁS Tapas y Vino. His art has been featured at local venues and can be purchased through his Instagram. Look for a tell-all book dropping soon.
RL Lopez, MFA Art History Curator, International Dealer, Foodie