Executive Chef Ray Delgado
Chef Delgado took a leap of faith nearly twenty years ago that led to a culinary career of distinction. As a young man of nearly 16 years old in seminary school on the outskirts of Mexico City, Ray thought his future would involve nourishing the souls of his neighbors. Little did he know that his decision to leave school to follow his heart, would take him to the States, where his talents would blossom, and his destiny would trade prayer for pots.
As executive chef at Hudson’s Delgado follows in the footsteps of one of his most influential mentors, Mark Hosak. After graduating from Western Culinary with honors in 1999, Ray landed at Hudson’s and quickly assumed a range of responsibilities, although he admits, “I’m a line junkie. I simply love the physicality and challenge of executing dishes that come off as bold and complex yet aren’t overdone or too high concept.”
Ray’s kitchen honors the commitment Hudson’s has had from the beginning – to be good stewards of the land, working with sustainable ingredients and to be the best neighbors possible.
The kitchen continues to evolve under Ray’s leadership. Now, Hudson’s has only Food Alliance-certified farmers’ products on its menus and has increased its selection of sustainable seafood offerings.
Like many successful chefs, Ray’s beginning was quite humble. He moved from the state of Jalisco in Mexico to Chicago when he was 17 and landed a job washing dishes. He worked in a number of casual restaurants for the next 4 years, segueing onto the line and honing his skills. It was at Denny’s as the egg guy that he started to understand the delicate balancing act required to be great at speed, multi-tasking, anticipating – for Ray, it was here where he began to understand the essential “feel” of cooking.
And once he got it, that was it. He was hooked.
But that wasn’t enough for Ray; he needed to know more, do more, get inside the process. This is when the job became the career. Ray had an older brother in Seattle and off he went to the west coast. He began to take internships at fine dining restaurants such as 13 Coins and Salty’s. “I discovered flavors and creativity in cooking and then I knew this was where I was supposed to be.”