Owner, Chef Ramon Velazquez

Owner, Chef Ramon Velazquez

A Little Background

Chef Ramon Velazquez’s cooking is best described by those who know it best as highly innovative yet intimately and deliciously familiar. Growing up in Guadalajara, Mexico, his love of food was nurtured by his mother and grandmother, who taught him how to make traditional Mexican dishes and create meals inspired by the local markets. Velazquez immigrated to the United States in 1990 and began working in restaurants in Santa Barbara, most notably as a sushi chef for the beloved restaurant Arigato for almost nine years and then moving on to the role of executive chef for Cielito.

How it began

But it was in 2014 when his culinary life changed for good. Velazquez opened a pop-up every Sunday at Three Pickles in Santa Barbara, serving simple and delicious Mexican street foods like ceviche and just four types of tacos—and the response from the community was overwhelming. Often selling out of ingredients before close and with lines out the door, it was safe to say that his food was making an impression. The food was so popular, in fact, that the Cooking Channel took notice and filmed a spot for their popular “Taco Trip with Chef Sanchez.” After that huge success, Chef Velazquez opened up a permanent spot for Cocina Corazon in the Santa Barbara Public Market where they’ve been ever since, serving up his inventive take on Mexican food, using locally sourced ingredients with beautiful garnishes, lots of color and unique textures.