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El Barrio Story - About Us

El Barrio Kitchen

Trendy Authentic Mexican cuisine by Chef Clinton Tay

My personal mantra is, "Prepare and cook food that you are exceptional at, and you will be respected as a culinary pillar within the community". Also, “Do what you do best and expand your knowledge and understanding of the culture within the culinary world map”.


As a young child I was exposed to great ethnic cuisines from around the globe. I would travel every summer to France and Spain and attend school in Tucson, AZ. My favorite foodie memories as a child was driving to Nogales, Sonora on Sundays for our La Posada restaurant Tacos, Chile Rellenos and Enchiladas. They were truly the best! After our lunch we would walk around and shop at the many Mexican markets surrounding the city. Later on in my young adult years, I came to realize that between the Carne Asada Fiestas and other gatherings with my close friends that Mexican food & culture was very important to me and was my comfort food growing up.


Early in my food & beverage career I started out as a dishwasher at El Vaquero Mexican Restaurant in Sonoita, AZ.  From there, I learned the basics with preparation, cooking, and culture of Mexican cuisine. That was the beginning of a lifetime career of culinary & foodservice to include:

  • Cooking at the Westin La Paloma in Tucson, AZ.

  • Cooking at the Sheraton Pike Street Market in Seattle, WA.

  • Original Chef/Co-owner of Shelby’s Bistro in Tubac, AZ. 

  • Graduating from the New England Culinary Institute in Burlington, VT with a AOS in Culinary Arts. 

  • Cooking at the Coyote Café in Santa Fe, NM.

  • Executive Chef for Sodexho at the Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond, VA. 

  • Executive Chef for the Sheraton Yankee Clipper in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. 

  • Marketing Associate for US Foodservice.

  • Regional Sales Manager for Gourmet Foods International in Nashville, TN. 

  • Regional Southwest and Northeast Sales Manager with European Imports, Inc. Chicago, IL. 

  • Sales Consultant, Corporate Merchandising Analyst and Produce Specialist for Sysco in different parts of the country.


All this valuable experience, education and knowledge has provided me with the tools to be successful in the hospitality business. The team at El Barrio Kitchen is very excited to have you as a patron and is passionate with serving you the highest level of food and service.

Chef Clinton Tay personal mantra prepare and cook food you are exceptional at
We are located in Tubac, AZ
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