We Are EVIT: Gabriel Garfio
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We Are EVIT: Gabriel Garfio

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  • CeCe Todd/East Valley Institute of Technology


Five years after completing East Valley Institute of Technology’s Culinary Arts program in 2011, Gabriel Garfio, 22, is part owner and executive chef of Mesa’s Sunnyside Breakfast Lounge, a restaurant that offers a healthy breakfast and lunch menu while specializing in a variety of healthy juices, Bloody Marys and Mimosas.

Gabe also serves as a judge on Food Ball, a culinary arts game show filmed in the EVIT Culinary Arts kitchen and airing on a local Phoenix television station.

Q: What did you do after completing the EVIT culinary program and graduating from high school?

A: I went to Johnson & Wales University in Denver, CO. Graduated with associate in science of culinary arts. I also obtained a job at the prestigious Cherry Hills Country Club in Cherry Hills, CO.

Q: What are you doing now?

We Are EVIT: Gabriel Garfio 480x220A: After I graduated, I partnered up with my parents to bring a fresh and new concept of healthy breakfast and lunch in northeast Mesa, Sunnyside Breakfast Lounge at Power & McDowell. Locals and winter visitors alike have taken a great liking to the restaurant. I am part owner as well as Executive Chef.

Q: What are your future goals?

A: My future goals involve expanding this concept, and synchronizing with another passion of mine, which is gardening, evolving my restaurant possibly to a different location, making it “farm to table” with the possibility to offering gardening plots to others who share my passion for freshly and organically grown foods.

Q: Do you still use the skills you learned at EVIT?

A: The skills I learned at EVIT are priceless in the sense that I wouldn’t be the person I am and the cook I am if not for my peers I met at EVIT, as well as the amazing instructors who took the time to expand my knowledge in a passion that I knew very little about. Chef Mike, Chef Diana, Ms. G, and Chef Brooks all had a certain personality in them with a mastery in their profession that only ignited my passion further.

Q: How beneficial was EVIT to getting you to where you are today?

A: EVIT was a huge stepping stone in my path to success, and without the two years I spent there, I might have not gotten into the university that I aimed to get into. Having the skills and knowledge I learned at EVIT made it easy for my transition into another culinary school. Now that I had all the basics under my belt, I was able to prove to my other chef instructors not only that I was capable to do the tasks they asked, but I was asking the more serious questions and striving to another level where most had not yet begun because the university was their first step.