Juan was born in Mexico City and today serves Southern California and beyond. His passion to serve and eagerness to create delicious and healthy meals has evolved into Juan’s Restaurante, where guests come from all over to enjoy organic, fresh, and traditional Pre-Hispanic inspired Mexican dishes. Juan’s creations integrate a holistic approach of unconventional blend of ingredients such as nopal (cactus), and xoconostles (green and red pear of the cactus). The cultural and journey of Pre-Hispanic Mexico at Juan’s Restaurante begins with the aguas frescas beverages made from fresh fruit and vegetables and ends with his masterful mole creations. Chef Juan relies on many seeds such as chia, pumpkin, pine, almond, cacao, and sunflower. And with over 17 different types of chiles his mole is rich in flavor. Included in the variety of Mexican dishes are natural or organic vegetables like beets, pumpkin, squash, pomegranate and epazote, a plant rooted and transported from Mexico.
Juan is referred to by his friends and guests as a wise, compassionate storyteller who proudly enjoys sharing the history and origin of the diverse Mexican dishes he serves.
Juan’s training as a chef began when he sat in his Grandmother’s kitchen at four years old and listened, observed, and assisted with the preparation of daily meals. Juan’s grandmother shared family recipes that captured generations of his family’s Pre-Hispanic dishes. Juan received his certification from the Gastronomico Chefuri Culinary Institute in Mexico City. Juan is an acclaimed International Chef receiving recognitions and awards for his unique dishes and his authentic taste. His community commitment in making significant contributions a positive difference in healthier lifestyles shows his unique ability to celebrate cuisine in all its benefits.
Today, Juan is referred to as the “King of Cactus” by food critics and journalists alike. His commitment to fresh, flavorful and extraordinary food is a testament of his longstanding connection to the Hollywood’s’ affinity with Juan’s Restaurante. Chef Juan has gained special interest from Ryan Seacrest who has called upon Juan for many years to cater and cook for himself or celebrity guest, some of
Juan’s clientele include Martha Stewart, Oprah Winfrey, Joan Rivers, Queen Latifah, David Beckham, Iron Chef Chairman Mark Dacascos, Sofia Vergara, Raul de Molina, Jonas Brothers, Diana Bracho, Paquita la del Barrio and many other American and Latin celebrities. Please see www.JuansRestaurante.net to learn more about Chef Juan Mondragon and Juan’s Restaurante.
In 2010 Chef Juan Mondragon set out to introduce Southern California to the lost-world cuisine of pre-Hispanic Mexico. East of Los Angeles, deep in the Latino community of Baldwin Park, you can discover this lost-world cuisine, where Juan features more than 10 remarkable moles, prepares each dish with fresh ingredients and a pre-Hispanic menu dedicated to organic nopales (cactus). This unique Mexican cuisine dates prior to the Spanish influence and is brought back to life to Southern California by Chef Juan Mondragon.
Juan’s Restaurante also features a weekly buffet showcasing different dishes of pre-Hispanic Mexico every Saturday and Sunday. Enjoy Juan’s mole sampler to taste the flavor profiles of all of the wonderful moles! Juan also prepares fresco queso (fresh cheese) from his family’s ranchero, handmade cactus and corn tortillas but the Caldo de Piedra (Rock Soup) is both extraordinary in flavor and preparation. The caldo de piedra is cooked with fire heated stones, which this preparation remains true to the pre-Hispanic method, which are literally put into the soup to cook this seafood soup.
Juan Mondragon has been a customer service expert for more than 20 years, making Juan’s Restaurante food and service a wonderful experience. Juan’s Restaurante is dedicated solely to Pre-Hispanic Mexico ingredients, cuisine and method.