Kathy Ruiz was born and raised in Houston. Her father was an eye surgeon in Houston, so she decided on medicine and graduated with a degree in biology from Manhattanville College in New York. While in school, she worked in a few restaurant kitchens before moving back to Houston for a job in a geology library. But after a year’s flirtation with science, she talked her way into a job at Hilltop Herb Farm as chef. As Chef Ruiz says, “I taught myself the ropes and found what I wanted to do”. She then was offered a job at Café Luxeford, located in a new hotel near the Astrodome.
Great Chefs caught up with Chef Ruiz in 1986 where she was the executive chef at the Bistro Garden in Houston. She was featured in their Great Chefs of the West series for PBS.
Eight years later in 1994, she was approached to join the Landry’s Restaurant Group in Houston as executive chef. Today in 2016, she is the Vice President of Culinary Development for all of the Landry’s Restaurants.