John Tamez

Culinary Instructor

The Art Institute of San Antonio


A San Antonio native, Chef John Tamez began his culinary career while attending St. Mary’s University. Working under Pastry Chef Lou Canillo at the Marriott Rivercenter, he refined his baking and pastry skills. Chef Tamez took a break from cooking to finish his father’s wish of graduating from St. Mary’s, where he earned a Bachelor’s in Marketing and Information Systems Management. He then enrolled at St. Philips College to continue his culinary career and earned his degrees in Culinary Management and Hospitality Management. Chef Tamez continued to work in the hotel industry at both the Omni Hotel and La Mansion del Rio. He expanded his culinary expertise in the catering industry, under the direction of Chef Jerry Olivarri at Absolutely Everything Catering. There he met his next chef and mentor Ma Harper. She taught Chef Tamez that the joy of food is to help and teach others the art of cooking. After two years helping her run Ma Harper’s Creole Kitchen, he set his sights on teaching at the H-E-B Central Market Cooking School. This is where Chef Tamez spent five years refining his teaching skills that led him to his current job at the Art Institute of San Antonio. Here he is a lead instructor and helps students understand the skills and discipline necessary to be successful chefs. After over a decade of cumulative teaching experience, Chef Tamez is very proud of the students that he has taught and can’t wait for San Antonio to see what these young students can do.