By Maria Zate 

for Cottage Health

Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation presents An Empowering Evening at the Drive-In on Oct. 8 for a screening of the film “Charged: The Eduardo Garcia Story.” Gates open at 6 p.m., and the movie begins at 7 p.m. at West Wind Drive-in Theater in Goleta.

Following the film will be a discussion with Chef Eduardo Garcia, which has never been seen before.

An avid outdoorsman with a zest for life, Garcia is a testament to the power of the human spirit in the face of adversity. He suffered a massive electric shock while hunting, and his injuries included the amputation of his left hand. The film tells the story of Garcia’s rehabilitation journey.

A classically trained chef who found his passion for cooking at an early age, Garcia cut his teeth in the industry when he was just 15 years old, hustling over hot pans, flipping burgers and throwing pizzas.

After working in the fast-paced kitchens of Seattle and attending culinary school, Garcia took his love for cooking to the high seas, working as a private chef on luxury yachts and more importantly, on the hunt for exceptional food experiences that can only be found by traveling the world.

It was during this pivotal time that Garcia started inviting others to join him in the kitchen to collaborate and discover the joy of creating memorable food and experiences. The watershed moment gave birth to Garcia’s personal mantra: A meal is more than just what we eat. It’s an integral part of what builds culture and brings people together.

Inspired by these experiences, Garcia returned to Montana and founded Montana Mex, creating delicious, clean label, “happy food” driven by his culinary journey and designed to help people eat well. 

Garcia’s path, however, took a drastic turn in 2011 while elk hunting in the Montana backcountry. He discovered a bear carcass and received a catastrophic electrical shock from a 2,400-volt power line hidden beneath the animal, knocking Garcia unconscious and changing his life forever.

Severely burned and badly injured, Garcia walked three miles to the nearest road and found himself in a fight for his life. But, months of intensive care and rehabilitation, the amputation of half of his left arm, removal of several ribs and even a cancer diagnosis could not keep Garcia down. Nowadays, he can be found living his best life outdoors.

Through hunting, fishing, cooking, and delivering motivational speeches around the country, Garcia is an example of what can be accomplished with a refuse-to-quit attitude and uncompromised determination.

Ticket prices are $75 for general admission and $300 for VIP ticket. Each ticket admits one car with up to four people and includes an hors d’oeuvres box with dessert for two. Additional hors d’oeuvres boxes may be purchased at check-out. VIP ticket holders receive preferred parking, a premium VIP hors d’oeuvres box and dessert for two.

Buy tickets online at