Meet the Chef at AAA Five Diamond, Grand Velas
José Vallejo was born in an environment where love and respect for food and healthy products are pillars of education in his family. He says that even as a child, he spent a lot of time in the kitchen with his mother, while his father worked in the incredible coffee business, teaching him that he should always give his best in whatever he decided to do.
Originally from Córdoba, Veracruz, Mexico. He was 18 years old when he started his culinary school training. His first professional experiences were within hotels with prestigious brands and awards, he also had the opportunity to work and learn alongside amazing chefs and professionals, which allowed him to discover the nuances of a refined cuisine of the hotel industry.
He has great devotion, a hardworking attitude, and passion, characteristics that were rewarded by the managers and owners of the different resorts where he worked.
It was during various international experiences that Chef Vallejo was able to establish knowledge of him and confirm his passion for the various cultures and traditions related to regional food and products.
For several years he had the privilege of working and learning from the best and most recognized restaurants and chefs such as Poblet with 2 Michelin Stars; in Denia for the Master Pastry Chef Paco Torreblanca in Elche, Spain; with Tony Botella in Barcelona, Spain, and more.
The gastronomic industry has allowed him to prepare dishes for celebrities such as Alejandro Sanz, Zoe Saldaña, former American President Jimmy Carter, as well as the Mexican Embassy, the NFL, the NBA, and many more
His professional career has been particularly marked in recent years by important meetings with Roca Brothers Summit, Massimo Bottura Summit, Antonio Bachour, and incredible professionals in the field.
The experience throughout his career around the world has led Chef Vallejo to the top of his culinary education, uniting passion, simplicity and delicacy; qualities that he highlights today at Grand Velas Los Cabos as Executive Chef.
Originally from the state of Oaxaca, Yiannis Rojas grew up in a family attached to its culinary culture, his grandparents are from San Agustín Atenango and with them he learned, initially, to recognize the freshness, variety, and quality of ingredients in the traditional markets of the Mixtec region. An uncle offers him the opportunity to go to the United States, in his new home, which was a suburb of Chicago called Villa Park, he finished High School and then studied Graphic Design, in a short time he realized that it was not his taste, and changes professional course, decides to explore his attraction to gastronomy, he entered the College of Dupage Chicago.
Dedicated exclusively to cooking, in this transit that began in several stores of fast-food commercial chains, he was polishing his skills in increasingly specialized businesses. Chef Rojas developed a thirst for knowledge that led him in the first instance to Ambria, a Chicago restaurant that set the tone in contemporary French cuisine of the 1980s and 1990s. Later, he worked alongside renowned chef Rick Tramonto at Osteria di Tramonto, and later at the award-winning 2 Michelin Stars TRU restaurant.
The new professional relationships that he has been achieving, fortunately, guide him to work under the command of Laurant Gras, when he was chef at the L2O restaurant, with 3 Michelin Stars; by this time, Chef Rojas was already working with the Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants company, a company that was in charge of creating high-quality restaurants in the US. Starting from being a cooker in some of his establishments to, finally, being a Corporate Chef.
Upon returning to Mexico, he became part of Enrique Olvera's Pujol team as a Creative Chef and there he learned more than culinary knowledge, he further strengthened a philosophy of care and appreciation for the traditional recipes that he already had as part of his education and his cultural roots from Oaxaca.
In 2014 he opened Zicanda in Oaxaca de Juárez, a personal project that served dishes inspired by Mexican cuisine and the Mixtec flavors of his childhood. After two years he decides to travel and get to know his country more, this leads him to Las Ventanas al Paraiso at Rosewood Resort in Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, where he worked as Chef of the famous TY Warner Mansion. In 2020 he decided to join the culinary team of Grand Velas Los Cabos as Executive Sous Chef and start a new stage in his career.