Chef | Owneremail
Ken is the Executive Chef and owner of Pachamama’s. Cooking professionally since 1989, he spent 3 years as kitchen manager of Teller’s. Ken moved to the San Francisco Bay area to attend the California Culinary Academy, graduating with honors in 1999. Ken went on to work with Chef Daniel Bonnot at Bizou Restaurant in New Orleans, Louisiana. Chef Ken spent some time traveling in Australia and New Zealand before returning to the United States. Ken came over to Pachamama’s in the Spring of 1999 and began to implement his philosophy on food and cooking.
Taking the best ingredients, local and organic whenever possible and matching them with simple, yet refined techniques. The result is a monthly changing menu of New American Market Cuisine. This cuisine concentrates on bringing out the best and most natural flavors in foods. It re-introduces us to America’s great culinary heritage and an emphasis on seasonality and sustainability. With these goals in mind, Chef Ken feels that Pachamama’s Restaurant and its outstanding staff can build a reputation on a national level.
Lawrence Originals proudly endorses Ken & Pachamama’s.
Born in Hoxie Hospital on December 18, 1976, Brian has since lived in seven different towns throughout Kansas. Brian started cooking when he was about 5 years old making pancakes with his father. Brian was interested in cooking at a young age and his family encouraged him greatly. Brian’s Grandmother Tasset would save him about every Good Housekeeping recipe she could find and his Grandmother Strecker had ten sons, so the family reunions were fairly large. Food preparations took up most of Grandmother Strecker’s time so he helped when he could.
When Brian turned 21, he made up his mind to attend The Scottsdale Culinary Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona. Brian completed the program and received his Associates Degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management and Culinary Arts and Sciences. Brian has been a Sous Chef for the PB&J Corporate and Pachamamas.
chef de cuisineemail
Juan Carlos Tovar-Ballagh
Born in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1988, Juan moved to the Midwest at a young age. His mother being an ESL teacher and his father being a Venezuelan immigrant exposed him to many different cultures and cuisines. With the aid of his parents, he would experiment in the kitchen with cakes and savory dishes. Growing up, he would paint houses with his father, but overtime he grew interested in other opportunities. He began playing music at the age of 11, but soon discovered that he needed a more lucrative hobby. Thus, he joined the ranks as a dishwasher. Juan found work at several different restaurants, gradually moving up each time and slowly taking on more responsibilities.
In 2006, he moved to Seattle, WA to pursue a degree in audio production. Upon realizing that was not the career he wished to pursue, he found a job at a local private dining club where he recieved some great advice; “Buy a good chef’s knife”. Juan moved back to Kansas, which is where he began professionally cooking.
At work at a catering facility in Kansas City, his sous chef bluntly told him, “I dont like to get sticky”. Thus, he started making all the desserts, pastries and bread. After a year, he decided to move back to Lawrence when he was offered a position with Pachamama’s. Starting at night time pantry, he quickly worked his way up the ladder by working all the stations, and for a brief period filling in for the former pastry chef. When she decided to leave, he quickly jumped at his opportunity. Despite lacking any formal cullinary education, Juan has since strived to create new and interesting desserts that the midwest can appreciate and indulge in.