Miguel Garcia is a native of Puebla, Mexico. On completing his academic education he migrated to the port city of Veracruz to follow his dream of culinary exploration. Trained by top chefs to work with the freshest ingredients such as seafood and an array of chiles, Miguel Garica moved to Acapolco, Mexico, the Mecca for Mexican chefs. After working in top restaurants and hotels, Garcia made the pilgrimage to New York City. Once in New York, Garcia met Jimmy Sanz, a restaurateur with a dream to open a Spanish and Mexican Restaurant in New York. Sanz, a native Spaniard had already found Octavio del Barrio, a world renound Spanish Chef sent to New York by the Queen of Spain during the 1960 World's Fair.
Chef Ocatvio did not have any formal training in Mexican food and wanted to train with an expert in Mexican cuisine to help Sanz build his dream. The two chefs became friends and inaugural co-chefs of Tio Pepe Restaurant in July of 1970. After 10 successful years Sanz opened Casa Pepe in Bay Ridge Brooklyn and split up the duo. Chef Octavio stayed in Tio Pepeand Chef Garcia opened the newest venture, Casa Pepe. Over the years the two friends shared, combined and created recipes and the combination of their knowledge molds the menus in both Casa Pepe and Tio Pepe. Although the menus are slightly different, both aggressively represent the old world values brought by the two chefs.