Ask the chef
Eli Tapia, Head Chef
What inspired you to become a chef? I was born in Mexico. When I moved here (the U.S.), my first job was a dish washer. My brother was the head cook in a Mexican restaurant. So I always wanted to be like him. The way he cut vegetables. The way he cooked. He was really good at it. I would copy everything he did. And then I got into food so much I wanted to learn more and more and I went to the big city (Dallas) to go to school to become a chef. That’s what I really wanted to do. Best things you’ve ever eaten? Two things: Ceviche on a bar made of ice in Dallas. It was wonderful, fresh seafood. And also a cheesecake made with crab and lobster. Best cooking advice you’ve ever received? Cook with your heart. Favorite ingredient? Anything fresh. Favorite restaurant? Jasper’s, a restaurant in Dallas. The restaurant served food like KJ’s but the chef took everything to the next level, like we hope to do. Something few people know about you? I like to play basketball and I like to dance. Favorite thing about Hot Springs? The people. You can raise a family here.