Executive Chef James Bocanegra
Chef James is a San Antonio native with over 39 years of culinary experience. His focus is to maintain the highest culinary arts standards and support the next generation of culinary artist. Growing up, his mother worked at Hilton and James would go to work with his mother on the weekends. While in high school James worked as a bus boy at the Hilton hotel restaurant in San Antonio and that sparked his interest in the culinary arts.
After high school James pursued his culinary education in the culinary arts program at St. Philip’s College in San Antonio. While there, he worked as a full-time apprentice chef at the Hilton in San Antonio. The general manager took notice of James’s passion and potential and paid for his culinary arts education. After graduating James worked as the Garde Manger Chef for the Hilton.
In 1987, Chef James left San Antonio to continue perfecting his culinary talents at various Hilton hotels across the United States including the Myrtle Beach Hilton, Rye Town Hilton, Atlanta Hilton and Towers, Miami Airport Hilton and the Flamingo Hilton in Laughlin.
In 1999 he received a call from his mentor at the Hilton asking him to return to San Antonio as the Executive Chef. Almost twenty years after his first job as a bus boy, Chef James returned to the hotel that launched his culinary career. Just as his mentor supported James in his culinary career. James supports the next generation of culinary artists as a mentor to students and externs at the Culinary Institute of America as well as with culinary students from St. Philip’s college.
Volunteering in the San Antonio community is also important to Chef James that includes
volunteering at SAMC cooking meals for the Wounded Warriors, Community Bible Church,
San Antonio Food Bank, the Children’s Hunger Fund, Salvation Army Shoe In, taking Pillow Pets to children in local hospitals and various cooking events to raise money for the community.
Chef James brings the spirit of community with the combination of exceptional taste to Tech Port Center + Arena and with his royal touch catering and providing high quality service that is unmatched!