About Our Chef – Access 66 Catering

People always say “Your food is so good!”  The reason is our Executive Chef: Arturo Valenzuela.


Art has a fascinating background.  We hope you enjoy his story:

Arturo “Art” Valenzuela is the Executive Chef of Access 66 Catering where he oversees food preparation and presentation for all meetings, banquets, weddings and events.  Art’s culinary expertise and commitment to excellence makes Access 66 Catering the best kept secret in town.

Born in Juarez, Mexico, Arturo immigrated to Omaha in his early teens to join his mother. After serving in the U.S. Army, he worked at various kitchen labor jobs and earned his apprenticeship as a cook through a Department of Labor program.  In the late ‘70s, he worked as a dishwasher at The Omaha Club. His big break came when the club’s veteran cook took a two-week hiatus.  He and another kitchen staffer were asked to stay and prepare lunch.  Soon he was performing the responsibilities of a head chef.

In the early ‘80s, Art was in charge of food preparation for Distinguished Catering. He then worked as a chef and owner-manager in a number of dining and catering businesses operated by well-known Omaha restaurateur, Walter Hecht. In 1982, he was put in charge of opening and developing restaurants in Omaha and El Paso for the Marriott Hotel Corporation. In 1986,

he returned to The Omaha Club as sous chef and was promoted to executive chef later that year. At that time he was 30 years old. Art remained in this position until The Omaha Club closed in early 2000 when he became executive chef at Access 66 Catering.

Over the years Art has developed a wide repertoire of international recipes from many cuisines.  His creativity and expertise is fondly referred to as “cooking with Art.”

In the late ‘90s Art began a three-year tenure as president of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) of Omaha and remains active in regional and national culinary organizations. Art has received multiple awards including the Excellence Award from both the International Food and Wine Society and the ACF’s Professional Chefs of Omaha. He also received an appreciation award for assisting the U.S. Culinary Olympics team. In 2002, Art received the Lifetime Achievement Award and was inducted into the Omaha Hospitality Hall of Fame. This honor was bestowed by the Omaha Restaurant Association in conjunction with the Institute for the Culinary Arts at Metropolitan Community College.

When asked about the best part of being a chef, Art answers, “I get to go to everyone’s party.” He is viewed as a skilled manager, leader and chef who exudes confidence, kindness and quiet strength. Art is particularly admired as a person who maintains his composure under the pressure of preparing different foods for multiple events on the same day. When asked about this his answer is invariably the same, “It’s all a matter of organization.”

We are ready to assist you in arranging an event to remember… from the beginning to the perfect ending!  Call Jen at Access 66 today!  (402) 390-3331 or jfox@westside66.org.  www.access66catering.com

Share this post:


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More to explore:

Wedding Planning Timeline

When is a good time to get all those wedding planning items done? To help, I created this fun little graphic you

Planning your Guest List

The guest list could be the hardest part of wedding planning. I provide my couples with a template to get them started.

Scroll to Top