Chef from Bangs competing for award in Dallas

Steve Nash
Brownwood Bulletin
Christian Bosquez

Growing up in Bangs, Christian Bosquez started learning to cook as a middle school student  — and never stopped.

Now, the 26-year-old’s culinary skills have put him in the running to be named the Rising Star Chef of the Year in Dallas.

Bosquez, a 2013 graduate of Bangs High School, has been an employee of the Omni Hotel in Dallas for 7 1/2 years. He is a chef in the Cafe Herrera on Lamar, one of seven restaurants at the Omni. Cafe Herrera showcases upscale Mexican cuisine, states.

CultureMap Dallas, which covers Dallas-Fort Worth dining and other lifestyle venues, has nominated Bosquez and nine other chefs for the award. The winners in several categories of competition — including Rising Star Chef of the Year — will be announced at the CultureMap Tastemaker Awards on Aug. 19. The awards will be part of the Fashion Industry Gallery.

“So nervous — but it’s super exciting,” Bosquez, polite, upbeat and easy-spoken, said by phone. “It’s a huge opportunity — never expected it a day in my life. It just sprung up out of nowhere. It’s exciting.”

Bosquez and his wife, Julissa, his high school sweetheart from Bangs, live in Glenn Heights, a city of about 12,000 in Dallas County. 

Bosquez said he grew up in a home where his aunt did the cooking. When she died, Bosquez began learning to cook. “I started cooking outside a lot,” Bosquez said. “I liked grilling outdoors. I remember taking my friends outside, after school, after football games, and we’d go outside and grill.”

After graduating from Bangs, Bosquez enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu culinary school in Dallas.

“I actually did six months in culinary school,” Bosquez said. “I got into the Omni after about two months into being in culinary school and started getting promoted there. I didn’t have enough money to finish culinary school, so I decided I was just going to put my head into the Omni and see what I can learn here.” 

Bosquez said working as a chef is a “great passion.”

"It's difficult, it’s tiring, but there’s nothing I’d rather do than be cooking and enjoy my friends, everybody in the kitchen,” Bosquez said. “It’s a whole different environment.”

Anyone can be a good chef — if you’re willing to put in the work, Bosquez said.

“I think it takes passion for the industry,” he said. “If you want to be good, you can be good. A lot of training, a lot of hours … you’re going to miss every weekend and family event. You forget what holidays are.

“If it’s something you enjoy doing every day, it becomes worth it. But I always say anybody can do it if you’re willing to put in the work, and focus and pay attention.”

Bosquez said he and his wife still visit Bangs, where Bosquez was a captain on the Dragons football team and Julissa was a drum major for the marching band.

Life in the big city is “good, but you always miss home,” Bosquez said. “It’s a lot more fast paced out here. It’s go-go-go. Bangs, Texas is so much more laid back.”