José Gutierrez 

River Oaks Restaurant
Memphis, TN

Chef José Gutierrez’s exceptional culinary creativity can be traced to his French heritage with Spanish roots and Southern influences. Chef José has been a Memphis resident for more than 30 years and hence, is a true Southerner. José studied at the Professional Culinary School in Manosque, France, worked under the direction of several esteemed chefs, and then trained with the celebrated chef Paul Bocuse, creator of Nouvelle Cuisine.

José then move to Houston to serve as chef de cuisine at Restaurant de France at the Meridien Hotel. In 1982, he began what turned out to be a distinguished, unparalleled 22-year career at the Peabody Hotel’s Chez Phillipe. 

In 2005, chef José opened Encore Restaurant and Bar. Five years later he joined River Oaks restaurant, which he and his wife, Colleen, now own. Chef José has expertly guided River Oaks to its status today as one of Memphis’ premier eateries. Chef José is one of only 66 Master Chefs in the country.

In addition to Food & Wine’s Best New Chef award in 1990, Chef Jose received the Master Chef of the Year designation in 2011 and Chef of the Century by the American Academy of Hospitality and Sciences in 1998.