Purveyors of Amazing: Estephan Ivan Enriquez-Fernandez
Executive Chef Estephan Ivan Enriquez-Fernandez creates unforgettable meals bite by bite.
For Truluck’s Executive Chef Estephan Ivan Enriquez-Fernandez, the story starts in Dallas.
It was there that he first started working in the restaurant industry at 16 years old, delivering pizzas, serving guests and eventually becoming a line cook. At 19, he became sous chef. And one year later, said goodbye to Texas to find new opportunities.
“I packed my bags for the sunny beaches of Florida, leaving the Tex-Mex, steak and green hatch chili-rich Texas cuisine for some yellowtail Bahama snapper, Key West key lime pie and Cuban-influenced, South Beach flavors,” he says.
In Florida, Enriquez-Fernandez worked up and down the eastern coast before settling at Tommy Bahama. But it wasn’t long until Texas called him back. After two years, he came back to Houston as the sous chef for Pappas Bros. Steakhouse.
“As a sous chef I gained the knowledge of dry ageing, how to work through two Superbowl’s, the first taste of A5 and the importance of details from the kitchen and how they translate at a very high rate to the guest at this caliber,” Enriquez-Fernandez says.
He later took that knowledge to TruFood Kitchen, where he spent six years working across nine locations. When the opportunity to work at Truluck’s presented itself earlier this year, Enriquez-Fernandez was ready to make the jump into Truluck’s—and back to Florida.
“Having worked and starting my career in fine dining, I knew that when Truluck’s called, it was time to take all I have learned since I was a pizza delivery driver at the age of 16 and combine that with all my culinary experience and bring it to Truluck’s,” he says. “I now know it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my professional career.”
Now the Executive Chef at Truluck’s Naples, Florida, location, Enriquez-Fernandez is focused on continuing to elevate the menu, for guests and for the entire Truluck’s team.
“I’ve had the immense pleasure to cook for and beside some of the industry’s finest chefs that have all inspired me and given me insight on how to create, fix and cook Mother Nature’s gifts at a top-tier level,” he says. “I have a favorite flavor experience that I strive to provide: I want layers in my food. Truluck’s has an amazing menu already and continues to develop it but the touch points of garlic, perfect ration of salt to pepper, fresh tomato in our main lobster scampi, charr from our 1800-degree broiler, sweet and salt gulf water flavor that pour out of our stone crab—these are my favorite to consistently deliver on. I want our guest to remember the immense, continuous flavors with each bite.”
Achieving those complex layers may be a challenge, but it’s one that drives Enriquez-Fernandez. His commitment to his culinary craft, inspiring and leading the team around him as he goes, shows just how passionate he is about creating a remarkable, unforgettable guest experience.
“When you move from one restaurant concept to another, it’s always a challenge,” Enriquez-Fernandez says, “and this challenge, working at Truluck’s, has made me a better chef from every touch point a culinarian could want and ask for.”
Come experience the flavors of Truluck’s and make a reservation today. Your table is waiting.