Chef Barrera was first inspired to cook watching the early greats on television; Jeff Smith, Martin Yan, Julia Child, Jack Tripper and the Swedish Chef. At the age of 10 he turned to the matriarchs in his family; his mother, his grandmothers and his aunts for his first culinary lessons. These women taught him the comforting properties of a meal. They showed him food should feed the mind and soul as well as satiate the appetite. These early influences led him to Le Cordon Bleu to study classical French and Italian cuisine.
He spent 13 years in NYC honing his skills at some of city’s finest establishments. From slinging pizzas at Franny's in Brooklyn to winning Time Out’s “Best Burger in the City” award at Rare Bar & Grill to precise cooking and perfect plating techniques at the famed Capital in NYC–no restaurant was off limits, all in the pursuit of knowledge and experience. Chef Barrera brings all these experiences and influences to his menu at City Winery Chicago–a menu inspired by wine, influenced by global comfort foods and sourced locally.