Or that’s how it feels to be around him—Eduardo Garcia, a chef so full of love and life. He says he wants to engage with others “with an open heart,” and here he cooks and surfs and teaches us all how to make tortillas in a press. When he wraps the mahi-mahi in banana leaves foraged from a nearby tree and arranges spiny lobster ceviche in halved coconut shells, he talks of honoring his grandfather, who worked on fishing boats off the Yucatán peninsula.
Eduardo did all of this—including unloading surfboards from the van—using the mechanical prosthetic that now functions as his left forearm and hand. Eduardo’s arm and body were burned in a bizarre accident in the backcountry of his home state of Montana when he came upon a dead bear cub in the woods. The triathlete who’d been working as a yacht chef curiously touched the bear with his knife, and he was immediately struck with 2,400 volts of electricity—the same jolt from a live wire that had evidently killed the animal.
His incredible story of surviving that day and of discovering again how to live, to truly live, is the subject of the award-winning documentary “Charged.” He still cooks, recently got married, and has co-founded Montana Mex to produce and sell his favorite sauces, oils and seasoning mixes for cooking—with a portion of profits helping to support the Challenged Athletes Foundation.