Born in Charlotte, North Carolina and raised with the true southern charm from his time in Atlanta, Georgia; Chef Santana’s love of food and flavors come from his childhood that revolved around gathering family and friends together for ordinary dinners, celebrations, and unforgettable moments. He is passionate about creating memories through food and hospitality, and truly believes that cooking tastes better when you do it with love. Throughout Chef Santana’s life, the constant has always been food as a language to show appreciation, and eventually, to express the perceived value of his international travel experiences through his culinary talents. He has long been passionate about bridging food, art and music. Having worked at the Loews Hotel in Atlanta, Table 1280 at the Woodruff Arts Center, The Atlanta Athletic Club, and Ecco, a Mediterranean concept under the umbrella of Atlanta’s Fifth Group. Having been self-taught early on, his experience at Ecco took his food and wine knowledge to the next level; he learned French culinary technique and received extensive wine training while there impressing both the sous chefs and ultimately the culinary director, Lynn Saathoff, who would later write Chef Santana’s letter of recommendation to the Culinary Institute of America. Ultimately, Chef Santana moved to New York City to pursue his passion for food professionally. He sought out the best program to refine his home-cooking skills and joined the prestigious Culinary Institute of America for comprehensive culinary and hospitality training. During his studies at the Culinary Institute, he joined Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s kitchen at Red Rooster Harlem where he worked on the restaurant and catering sides of the kitchen until graduation when he was recruited to work for Danny Meyer’s Union Square Events. His culinary skills are reflective of his interests and apprenticeship under Chefs from diverse backgrounds that span cultures and continents bringing their cultural flair and influence through spices, oils and unique preparation to influence the meals that he makes today. The result is consistently masterful in taste, flavor, preparation and presentation. Chef Santana is a culinary craftsman who cooks with heart and soul--- each dish is an extension of his passion for food and fellowship. Food was the foundation of his upbringing, and through his culinary gifts, he is passionate about making food the flavorful foundation that fuels your life.