Chef Ramon is astounding patrons with Japanese-Spanish fusion dishes at Azul Seafood Tapas.
KATY MAGAZINE | July 2018 By Shetye Cypher
Photography by Sara Isola
Tucked in an inconspicuous strip center on Mason is a gem of Latin, Spanish and Japanese fusion food all put together by self-taught Chef Edgar Ramon. Ramon, 38, opened Azul Seafood Tapas in July 2017. PHOTO BY SARA ISOLA, KATY MAGAZINE
A Homegrown Passion
Ramon is charming and hospitable as he is knowledgeable. His passion for cooking comes from his mother, who he lost at the age of 7. In Vera Cruz, Mexico, she had a garden and cooked everything from scratch. After she passed, he took care of it all as long as he could. His sister married when he was 9 so he had to cook to survive. His father was busy working construction, which he learned from him. That construction experience led him to design and build out his restaurant.
“I still have pictures of the food I made for family reunions and get-togethers when I was young,” he says. “I can say that I really enjoy what I do. It’s not about money.” Ramon was 14 when he started in the restaurant business as a dishwasher. They saw his potential and hard work and he quickly moved up.
“I had a lot of energy for 14 years old,” he said. “I worked for a lot of fine dining restaurants.” In 2000, he was part of Sasul opening and he credits himself a pioneer in that style of fusion that became Japoneiro’s.
An Expert in Japanese Recipes
He worked for local Sushi Hana for 13 years, producing five menus, and then began his food truck and catering business, Savor the Bites. Landry’s has tried to lure him away twice but he feels it just wouldn’t be personal anymore.
(Chef Ramon is driven to create the perfect Japanese/Spanish fusion menu with items like Snow Crab Jalapeno Poppers)
His wife, Lucy, and two girls, 8 and 10, are a big presence in his establishment. He has had repeat customers for his food for almost 20 years and has made many ‘food’ friends. They continue to follow him.
“Several local celebrity chefs come to eat, Anthonie Decker from Anthoie’s Market Grill and Shannen Tune from Food Network,” Ramon said. “I work with a lot of family owned wineries and breweries like No Label and Karbach.”
Ramon is there seven days a week and can be seen working away behind the bar. When he has events, he even stays overnight.
To Delight and Surprise
“I love to see people’s faces and their smiles when I create something that they would never imagine having in front of them,” he says. “Everything is very delicate and I use wild caught, delivered daily seafood.”
He is a creator. His favorite items are the braised short ribs which he spends 10 hours making, the lobster deluxe and the calamari. The process of putting something on the menu is a long one for him. He is currently working on a gourmet seafood tamale.
For the People
Although he has a creative menu, he will still make things off the menu.
“If you come to me, I come up with something based on your likes,” he says. “A good cook always tries to satisfy people. We live to please people. I really cook from my heart and people know that.”
Azul’s success is all based on word of mouth, all of its reputation has come from social media, even though he stays humble, quiet, and focused on his craft.
“Word of mouth can put you where you want to be or destroy you,” he says. “Whoever comes here is going to really enjoy our little place, our hole in the wall.”
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