Gary Hickey – Chef/Partner, Flores Concepts & Sí Charro Restaurants
Cooking T-bone steaks in a cast iron pan with his grandmother on Saturday nights developed Chef Gary’s love of steaks.
Getting his first restaurant job at 15, he was quickly bitten by the culinary bug. His accumulated knowledge of the restaurant business, from front room to bar to kitchen, is the result of learning on the job, starting with his first serious restaurant job at Keaton’s in the Foothills.
As the chef-partner of Flores Concepts and Sí Charro Restaurants since 2015, meats served at Charro Steak & del Rey are from cattle raised naturally, without the use of antibiotics, steroids, hormones or GMOs (genetically modified organism). Chef Gary likes to use ingredients native to Tucson and the Sonoran Desert, priding himself on knowing who is providing each ingredient.
He worked at a handful of Tucson restaurants through the 1990s, including Metropolitan Grill, City Grill and McMahon’s Prime Steakhouse. He then left Tucson, going to work for P.F. Chang’s, traveling throughout the west opening restaurants.
In 2009, he returned to McMahon’s as front of the house and bar manager. A few years later, he moved up to general manager and when the chef left, he added executive chef to his plate.