Love Food for the of
Chef Arturo Flores cooks from the heart.
By Aimee L. Cook Photos by John Taylor
hen you love what you do, it shows. It’s in every detail. Chef Arturo Flores of Park City’s Chimayo Restaurant is a shining example of someone who loves what they do, and you not only taste it in his dishes, but you feel it in his space. Flores grew up in Chihuahua, Mexico, and set out to be a tax attorney. Needing to earn money to further his education, he came to Utah in 1993 and starting working in Bill White’s Grappa Restaurant as a dishwasher. He quickly moved into making soups and sauces and being a food runner. After five years, Flores transferred to White’s Windy Ridge Café, dabbling in many things throughout that tenure, and learning all he could from his mentor, Bill White. In 1997, Flores became a food expeditor at Chimayo, and after just one year, he was offered the job as head chef. As they say, 38 Devour Utah • April 2017
the rest is history. Flores never returned to law, and only visits Mexico a few times a year to see family. Utah is home; Chimayo is where his heart is. “Arturo comes in every morning to make all the sauces himself, some of them take several days,” Chimayo restaurant manager Marylou Johnson says. “He looks at every dish before it leaves the kitchen. Detail and taste are very, very important to the chef.” Flores finds inspiration for his foods in both the cuisines of southern Mexico and the southwest United States, but you won’t find a lot of beans and traditional cheeses on his menu. Using different types of chilies and spices are the foundations of a lot of his dishes. Flores changes up the menu every six months to keep things fresh and, on average, he serves 340 patrons each evening.