Chef Arthur Gonzalez
Tribe Hospitality Group (Panxa Cocina & Tribe Colorado)
Growing up in Cerritos, California, Chef Arthur Gonzalez enjoyed helping his German mother and his Oaxacan grandmother prepare meals in the kitchen. The vast distinction between the two cultures, its ingredients, and cooking styles laid the foundation for what was an intuitive confidence in the kitchen that carried through his 20 years of experience in the culinary space.
As a young adult Gonzalez wanted to be a firefighter and started as a paid call firefighter at age 26, but due to a back injury, he discovered his passion for cooking in the firehouse kitchen. Cooking for his fellow firefighters at the station allowed him to have fun and experiment with a hungry crew while adapting to a spontaneous schedule. He decided to pursue his passion for cooking more seriously. He went on to work at Seal Beach restaurant, Spaghettini, as a dishwasher. This humble beginning for Gonzalez gave him the opportunity to train in the kitchen. Two years after starting at Spaghettini, Gonzalez was the pastry/sous chef at local legend Mahé before moving to New Mexico.
After working in several restaurants in New Mexico, Chef Gonzalez was introduced to James Beard award-winning Chef Eric Distefano of Coyote Café and Geronimo, who became his mentor. While working at Señor Lucky's in Santa Fé, Gonzalez met Vanessa Auclair, his current business partner and fiancé here in California.
Vanessa and Gonzalez came back to Southern California to work at McKenna’s On The Bay in Long Beach as Manager and Head Chef, respectively, with the goal of creating delicious, clean and simple food. Their success at McKenna’s led to the opening of seafood focused Roe on Second Street in Belmont Shore.
His love of the food, culture, and people of New Mexico always stayed with him and Panxa Cocina was born out of a lifetime appreciation for Latin cuisine and a desire to support locally sourced foods. Deciding to try something new, Vanessa and Gonzalez opened Panxa, inspired by their Southwestern roots, together creating a menu authentic to New Mexico and influenced by his family's cooking throughout his childhood.
At Panxa, pronounced pan-zah (the Catalan word for belly), Chef Gonzalez created a place to enjoy modern Southwester cuisine, craft cocktails, wine, and an extensive mezcal and tequila menu. The menu demonstrates his knowledge of the familiar flavors of New Mexico as well as a sense of forward-thinking cooking.
Hard work, dedication, and an affinity for creating extraordinary experiences, driven by a keen attention to detail and the highest quality product led to the creation of Tribe Hospitality Group in 2019. Gonzalez brought together a tribe of culinary trailblazers—a team of people who were equally as committed to their craft, to form his newest hospitality venture. Tribe Hospitality Group is comprised of Panxa Cocina and Tribe at Riverwalk, opened in Castlerock, Colorado Winter 2020; as well as catering and private events; culinary brand projects, consulting, and appearances.