Walter A. Gutierrez

Culinary Director

A chef must cook like a grandma:
with love.

Walter A. Gutierrez

Walter calls his home country of Ecuador “La Mitad del Mundo” (the center of the world), both for its location and its wide variety of traditional ethnic food and customs. Growing up in the small town of La Troncal, about 160 miles south of the Ecuadorian capital of Quito, he would help his grandmother cook for the sugar cane workers, heading to the farmer’s market and picking out produce to prepare and serve. He learned at an early age to butcher and cook with wood.

Arriving in the United States in 1992, Walter was plunged into a new world of culinary opportunities and styles. He was ready to learn all he could. Starting as a dishwasher, he worked in close proximity to top chefs including Loui Lanza, Bill Hedge, David Burke, and Ricardo Cardona in NYC, learning new techniques and expanding his knowledge and culinary philosophy. He went on to work for Goldman Sachs, The New York Stock Exchange, Restaurant Associates, Compass Group, and SSP America, lending his skills to catering, contract food services, and travel dining.

Having excelled in the culinary field for 25 years, Walter has expertise across every aspect of the industry: opening restaurants, training staff, creating menus, reengineering recipes to be cost-efficient, and helping restaurants boost sales and overall profitability. As someone who firmly believes that you must love the food you cook, he is thrilled to be part of Cole Hospitality and looks forward to continuing his life-long culinary education among like-minded peers.