Joaquin was born in Mission, Texas in 1926 and during the depression, he and his family moved back to Mexico. They returned to Houston, Texas in 1947 where Joaquin started as a dishwasher, working his way up the kitchen ranks. In 1952, he was offered a chef job by Max Manus, owner of the 17 year old French cuisine restaurant, La Louisiane, in San Antonio. Joaquin never left, working and learning skills from many executive chefs that came through the restaurant kitchen until 1959, when Max retired and his brother-in-law took over, making Joaquin the executive chef.
In 1985, the Great Chefs television team arrived in San Antonio, and in what was then the oldest restaurant in the city, decided to tape Chef Gonzalez for their Great Chefs of the West PBS series where Chef prepared Chile con Queso and Chicken Gonzales, which appeared in episode #8 of Great Chefs of the West, and in the book Great Chefs, Southwest Tastes.
The restaurant was sold in 1992 and closed its doors three years later in 1995, culminating in what amounted to a 60-year run. Chef Gonzalez retired and passed away in 2012.