By Roadtrip Nation

Ray Garcia



My road in life took a while to figure out.
Born and raised in Eastside Los Angeles, California, in a predominantly Latino community.
Attended UCLA, where he received his degrees in political science and business economics.
Growing up, his goal was to join the FBI or get involved in some sort of federal law enforcement.
Took LSAT classes and did an internship at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., in order to prepare for law school, but he quickly realized that it was not the right path for him.
Inspired by his college roommate, who was a great cook, he decided to take a year off from the law school track and enrolled in classes at the California School of Culinary Arts.
He started his culinary career by working at the Peninsula Beverly Hills and eventually went on to work with famed chef Douglas Keane of Cyrus.
In 2009, he got the opportunity to become the chef at FIG in Santa Monica, where he earned a StarChefs Rising Stars Award.
In 2015, he decided to open his own restaurant, Broken Spanish, in Los Angeles, specializing in Mexican-American cuisine inspired by his upbringing—he was named Chef of the Year by Esquire magazine.
Keep following my journey



I am the chef and owner of Broken Spanish restaurant in Los Angeles, CA.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Being Creative

Day to Day

I spend my day cooking and overseeing my kitchen staff to ensure we deliver the best products to our customers. I also do a lot of tasting and experimenting with new flavors for our menu.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Learn how to take criticism. The culinary world is full of criticism whether it is from critics or yelp, etc. You have to learn to brush off a lot of the negativity and not let it get to you, but also know when to take constructive criticism and learn from it. You have to be open to any and all opportunities and be able to quickly decide what you want to accomplish and just do it.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Opening a restaurant is always going to be a challenge. Don't dwell or rely on too many people's advice. You will know what is right for you and you will figure it all out. There are very few mistakes that you have to commit to forever, so take chances and be open to opportunities.

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:


The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"I'll just do this for the time being and then go back to law school."

Challenges I Overcame

Career Change

Interviewed By

UCLA Roadtrip

UCLA Roadtrip

UCLA Roadtrip