Since he was a young boy, Chef Juan Rodriguez traveled each Summer from his home in Chicago to Monterrey, Mexico. While there, he spent much of his time with his Grandmother, Magdalena, in the kitchen – where he felt right at home. Magdalena had a tremendous passion for food, which she passed onto Juan. She took him to farmers markets, taught him how to shop at the local butcher’s shop, and introduced him to open fire cooking.
Following in his Grandmother’s love for cooking, Juan left his hometown of Chicago to obtain his Associate’s Degree in Culinary Arts from The Art Institute of Dallas. He then spent the next 15 years working his way up the chain-of-command in restaurants all over the country. From New York City to Glen Rose, and eventually landing in Fort Worth, where he quickly worked his way up to Executive Chef of Reata. It was there that he met his future bride, Paige.
Inspired by his Grandmother’s legacy, and driven by his passion, Juan left his position at Reata to open up his own catering company and supper club, with the help of his wife, and in 2015, Magdalena’s Catering & Events was created.
Magdalena’s Catering & Events offers boutique catering, giving customers, businesses, and brides custom menu options for a one-of-a-kind experience. Their one-on-one approach provides a unique and personal level of service to make sure every detail is met, ensuring events and weddings exceed expectation.
When Chef Juan isn’t serving the Fort Worth community, he and Paige host a Supper Club each month at their beautiful space at Magdalena’s, featuring an impressive, multi-course dinner made with locally sourced food with a fully visible food chain. With each course, Chef Juan walks guests through the creation of the dish, describing its ingredients, his inspiration, and once again revealing his passion for cooking. This fresh take on dining, paired with a stunning view of downtown Fort Worth, makes it a truly unforgettable experience.
Juan achieved his associate’s degree in culinary arts from The Art Institute of Dallas in 2001. Juan has worked his way through some of North Texas’s well know restaurants including Classic Café in Roanoke, Angeluna in Fort Worth, Rough Creek Lodge in Glen Rose, Lonesome Dove in Fort Worth and New York City, and then landed at Reata for eight years.
Juan joined Reata Restaurant in March of 2007 and was promoted to Executive Chef just two short years later. As Reata’s Executive Chef, Juan was responsible for developing new recipes and menus, weekly inventory, controlling food and labor costs and managing a team of six chefs and 42 cooks. While at Reata, he was named Best Chef 2008 by Fort Worth Weekly and Regional Winner for Chefs Under Fire in Austin.
Juan was named Modern Hispanic Gentleman of Texas by Texas Monthly and Ketel One. Magdalena’s has been awarded the staff’s pick for “Best Caterer” in 2017 by Fort Worth Magazine and Juan was nominated for “Chef of the Year, 2017” by Tastemaker’s Culture Map.