Garcia’s chef talent was heart of Francisco’s

Thank you for your recent story regarding the sale of Francisco’s restaurant (Herald, Sept. 12). Unfortunately, there were a few errors, and I’d like to take this opportunity to address them.

First of all, my husband, Ted Garcia, was far more than a “culinary-trained chef” as recounted by his brother, Skip. He was, in fact, formally trained and educated at the highly esteemed New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vt., and had the opportunity to work in four-star restaurants before returning home to serve as executive chef at Francisco’s.

He was a highly respected master chef who entirely reconceptualized Francisco’s so that in addition to his mother’s traditional recipes, specialties such as steak au poivre and Maryland soft-shell crabs became featured menu items.

His talent and creativity were paramount to Francisco’s success as it evolved into a historic Durango landmark with diverse continental cuisine.

Secondly, according to your story, I was “sentenced to prison for six years” in April. In actuality, I was sentenced on Feb. 4, and my case is presently under appeal.

While the presumption of innocence does not continue once a verdict has been rendered, it is important to note that I am exhaustively pursuing every post-conviction relief available, and this matter is far from concluded. I stand resolutely behind my testimony to the grand jury to the extent that I am even willing to serve time in prison rather than accept a plea bargain and say I’m guilty of something that I did not do.

Francisco’s was a remarkable restaurant, and Ted gave his heart and soul to its success.

The transfer of ownership is the end of an era, and I feel that the story isn’t complete without correction of factual errors and acclaim for Ted Garcia who was the most vital part of the operation as chef.

Suzanne Garcia


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