Fabulous People: Ray Valencia

Who is Ray Valencia?

Ray Valencia, who is originally from San Jose, California, is the Chef and Partner of Paul Martin’s American Grill in Scottsdale.

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What is Ray Valencia’s story?

Before Chef Ray had even attended culinary school, he had a passion for cooking. Prior to attending Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts (formerly the Scottsdale Culinary Institute), Chef Ray worked his way up from a busser to a cook position at a Valley Italian restaurant. After culinary school, Chef Ray quickly moved up the ranks of a well-known Asian-inspired national chain, where he became a sous chef, first in Phoenix and then in Cincinnati. Chef Ray left to join a locally-owned Asian bistro chain, where for six years he worked as the corporate chef for all Arizona locations. He eventually made his way back to the national chain to become a culinary partner (executive chef), spending five years combined at two different Scottsdale locations. After a short stint as the kitchen manager at a very large, high volume restaurant, Chef Ray joined Paul Martin’s American Grill in 2014 to open the company’s first Arizona location in Scottsdale. A very busy restaurant that serves lunch, dinner, an expansive happy hour and Sunday brunch, Chef Ray manages two sous chefs and a kitchen staff of 15. The team is responsible for preparing every item in the kitchen from scratch.

Ray Valencia’s future dream?

“To live on the beach and never have to wear shoes or long pants again.”

What makes Ray Valencia fabulous?

We love that Ray’s story is a prime example of how how work and moving up through the ranks can result in great success. He has made his passion into his career by working hard and never giving up.

Ray Valencia’s favorite quote?

“Do whatever makes you happy”

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