Restaurant Martín is the embodiment of that vision and the realization of a 20-year dream. Located close to downtown but next to a well-established Santa Fe neighborhood, Restaurant Martín is easily accessible to Chef Rios' local fans and the many visitors who tour Historic downtown Santa Fe.
Chef Rios, a native of Guadalajara, Mexico, grew up in Santa Fe and started in the restaurant business as a 17-year-old dishwasher, eventually working his way to executive chef at several restaurants and hotels. Chef Rios received his formal training at the Culinary Institute of America and supplemented that with experience and training in some of the worlds most honored restaurants and with well-known culinary masters. His passion for food has taken him around the world in pursuit of culinary innovation, creativity and cooking experience.
Chef Rios has been repeatedly honored for his innovative and pleasing combinations of flavors, colors and presentation. His unique style emphasizes fresh, local produce and organic meats and poultry, and reflects not only Southwestern and Asian influences but also his classical training in French technique. Featured in the 2008 season of Iron Chef America, Rios is the only New Mexico chef to have won the Robert Mondavi Culinary Award of Excellence. When Rios was chef at the Old House Restaurant at the Eldorado Hotel, Zagat's Restaurant Survey listed the restaurant as the best dining experience in New Mexico and one of the best restaurants in the United States and the restaurant was awarded both the AAA Four-Diamond Award and the Mobil Four-Star Award. Chef Rios has been name Chef of the Year by the City of Santa Fe and has been named Chef of the Year twice each by the State of New Mexico and the New Mexico Lodging Association. He has also been named a Celebrated Chef for the National Pork Council and was featured in the Bon Appetit Magazine cover story "The American Restaurant: Our Favorite Places."
Following an internship at Commander’s Palace under Chef Jamie Shannon, Nashan immersed himself in French cuisine and practicing impeccable technique under the guidance of celebrated Chef Roland Liccioni at La Francais in Chicago, at the time considered one of the best restaurants in the country. In 1998, Nashan moved far from home to stage at famed three-starred restaurant, Martin Berasategui, which would ultimately make a lasting impression on Nashan and broaden his culinary path.
After close to a year in Europe, Nashan longed to return to the states and accepted a position at Daniel in New York City, where Chef Daniel Boloud’s high expectations pushed him to do things beyond what he thought possible. In 2002, Nashan returned to his adopted hometown of St. Louis with the intentions of opening a restaurant. He learned that the owners of local standby Sidney Street Café were looking to pass the torch after 16 years in business. Kevin loved the beautiful building and decided, along with his wife Mina, to buy the restaurant in 2003.
Nashan seamlessly incorporates his wide variety of culinary experiences and influences in to seasonal, locally-sourced creations. His French training shines through his food in dishes like a play on Bouillabaisse with eel and uni or foie gras with olives and citrus; while his time in Spain shows its lasting impact in soulful sofrito-based dishes and the innumerable cured products in the pantry. The New Mexican cuisine of his childhood is also never far from his mind—posole and aji paired with chilles rellenos are favorites to this day—and his love for Southern cuisine shines through in the form of ingredients like ham hocks, sorghum, and speckled grits. Nashan believes that sourcing locally should be expected, not celebrated, and it doesn’t get much closer to home than the micro greens he grows in the basement or the spring garden occupying 100 yards of the Sidney Street Café parking lot.
Nashan has been a semifinalist for the James Beard Award four times, cooked for President Barack Obama, and competed in Cochon 555. When he’s not in the kitchen, you can find him training for triathlons and ironman competitions (he’s done six!), playing sports, hunting, and being outdoors. He loves enjoying all St. Louis has to offer with his wife Mina and their two sons, Max and Miles.
Moreover, Chef Kevin Binkley and a well honed staff of professionals bask in a modest approach to refined culinary mastery influenced by an evolution of American cuisine. Kevin and company prove to the valley how passion and perseverance can not only win the hearts of many with the food but continue to surprise us over and over. With a culinary degree from Scottsdale Culinary Institute, Chef Kevin Binkley has worked cuff to cuff with the tip top of great chefs in the country. Thomas Keller of the renowned French Laundry and Patrick O'Connell of The Inn at Little Washington to name a few.
The cuisine is industry leading with the use of gastronaut techniques, seasonal ingredients and the flare for greatness.
Bruce Auden, a native North Londoner, is well known for his adventuresome, original and creative menus. Recognized early in his career as one to watch among the new rising stars of regional cuisine, Auden brought a worldly fusion of influences to his brand of nouvelle American cuisine. One reviewer declared Auden’s dishes “extraordinary creations that play havoc with tradition.” His pitch-perfect style brings a lighthearted touch to serious gastronomy, earning his restaurants a loyal fan base of foodies and non-foodies alike for over twenty-five years.
Polo’s at the Fairmount In 1985, Auden moved from Houston to the San Antonio market and promptly put the Fairmont Hotel’s restaurant, Polo’s, on the culinary map, serving “the most provocative food in the city” (Texas Monthly, 1987). Honors and awards for the ambitious new restaurant kept coming, including a spot on Esquire Magazine’s “Best Bars and Restaurants” list in 1991.
“Original” Biga and LocuStreet Bakery In 1991, Auden opened his first chef-owned restaurant, Restaurant Biga. Wife and artisan bread baker Debra Auden launched LocuStreet Bakery in the same cozy location, contributing to a happy culinary marriage of the high-toned and the rustic. In its first year, Biga earned a spot on Esquire’s “Best Bars and Restaurants” list. Nation’s Restaurant News named Biga to its“Fine Dining Hall of Fame,” 1996. At the peak of its popularity, luminaries of the cooking world Emeril Lagasse, Julia Child and others were guests.
Biga on the Banks When Biga’s enthusiastic audience finally outgrew its limited table space, Auden teamed with business partners Peter Selig, Perny Shea, and Don Thomas to open the premiere contemporary-regional fine dining restaurant on the River Walk.
Since launching to rave reviews in 2000, accolades for Chef Auden and Biga on the Banks have consistently emanated from tastemakers such as Texas Monthly, Gourmet, and other high profile publications. Biga maintains the highest Zagat rating of any fine dining restaurant on the River Walk. And, Chef Auden has been honored with five nominations to the prestigious James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef / Southwest Award, including the most recent in 2011.
Never trust a skinny chef?
Still “six foot one and whippet-thin,” as pegged by Texas Monthly in 1987, Chef Auden maintains his chops (and his fighting weight) by pouring his considerable creative energy into Biga on the Banks and his newest project, Auden’s Kitchen, opened in 2010. Well situated in the tony Stone Oak neighborhood north of downtown San Antonio, Auden’s Kitchen has already earned top honors from Texas Monthly and local press for its leading-edge uptake on down-home American comfort food and English pub fare.
Chef Auden and wife Debra have four beautiful children and live, garden and raise various pets at the edge of the Hill Country in Fischer, Texas.
Frank Bonanno has imbued Denver with the spirit of those experiences through a slew of award winning restaurants—Mizuna, Luca d’Italia, Osteria Marco, Bones, Lou’s Food Bar, Russell’s Smokehouse, Wednesday’s Pie—and of late two spectacular bars—Green Russell and Vesper Lounge.
Bonanno “is inspired by classic French techniques, but also by the simplicity of the type of food found in the best American restaurants.” He likes “to offer clean flavors that enhance the freshest, finest ingredients.”
While Bonanno believes that the “star” at all of his venues is the food, there is a final feature that makes the dining experiences exemplary: the teams. Frank firmly believes that “food is a way to express yourself and make people happy,” and has gained a reputation for immersing chefs in arduous training and classic techniques, while allowing them to have fun with their profession. His philosophy resonates with the people that come through Bonanno Concept doors. To date, Frank’s chefs have moved directly from positions at the helm of his restaurants to open Fruition, Wild Catch, The Truffle, Masterpiece Deli, Curtis Park Deli, Park Burger, and The Wooden Table. In short, he has shaped the Denver culinary scene as it exists today.
“Everyone here is in this business because we love it. That’s why we do it. We know we’re going to serve seventy people dinner tonight, and the best way to do that,” he says smiling, “is with passion.”
With a desire to understand the land around him, Bowman continues to develop his nature-based cuisine at Forage. Using wild and cultivated ingredients from the area as well as ancient and modern techniques, Bowman attempts to connect guests to the surrounding land and to continue to explore the connection between his food and the unique landscape of the region.
Chef Rios has been repeatedly honored for his innovative and pleasing combinations of flavors, colors and presentation. His unique style emphasizes fresh, local produce and organic meats and poultry, and reflects not only Southwestern and Asian influences but also his classical training in French technique. Featured in the 2008 season of Iron Chef America, Rios is the only New Mexico chef to have won the Robert Mondavi Culinary Award of Excellence.
When Rios was chef at the Old House Restaurant at the Eldorado Hotel, Zagat's Restaurant Survey listed the restaurant as the best dining experience in New Mexico and one of the best restaurants in the United States and the restaurant was awarded both the AAA Four-Diamond Award and the Mobil Four-Star Award. Chef Rios has been name Chef of the Year by the City of Santa Fe and has been named Chef of the Year twice each by the State of New Mexico and the New Mexico Lodging Association. He has also been named a Celebrated Chef for the National Pork Council and was featured in the Bon Appetit Magazine cover story "The American Restaurant: Our Favorite Places."