Bouche Bistro looks and feels like a neighborhood Parisian locals’ hangout, complete with cozy banquettes, open kitchen and, weather permitting, one of Santa Fe’s nicest patios.
Inspired by France and the simple, light-hearted cuisine one finds in its intimate, authentic bistros, award-winning chef Charles Dale and his team cook unfussy fare enhanced by a well-chosen and gently-priced wine list.
Chef de Cuisine of Bouche Bistro
Luis began his career at age 16, working in a local Santa Fe pizzeria and at the Coyote Café Cantina. After several years spent in various kitchens, he chose to put himself through the rigorous professional culinary program at the Santa Fe Community College, earning his degree in 2010.
After many stints at diverse restaurants in the area, often working two jobs, Luis joined the team at Bouche as a line cook in 2013. During his tenure with Chef Charles Dale and later, another Dale protégé, James Mazzio, he learned all the stations in the restaurant, excelled with speed and precision, and eventually became Sous Chef to Mazzio. After a brief stint as Sous Chef at the excellent Izanami at Ten Thousand Waves, Luis returned to Bouche to take over as Chef de Cuisine from Mazzio in early 2017.
He currently oversees the long-time kitchen crew at Bouche, creating nightly specials and working on new menu items with Dale.
Maitre D’ of Bouche Bistro
Antonio Gallegos, a Santa Fe native, began working in restaurants at the age of 12, thus setting the stage for his life’s work. Beginning his career as a busser, he eventually moved up the kitchen ranks from dishwasher to prep cook to line cook, before realizing he preferred working in the front of the house.
It was at this point in his early twenties that Antonio understood that his true passion lay in the art of hospitality. Because he genuinely enjoyed delivering a memorable guest experience, in 2008 he began managing a succession of restaurants in California, and then returned to Santa Fe, where he joined the team at Bouche during its first months of operation. Over the ensuing five years, Antonio has been instrumental in helping to grow Bouche from a humble local bistro into a nationally-recognized purveyor of fine food and service.
Antonio attributes much of his success to his early start, his well-rounded experience in both the front and back of house, and his outgoing personality. In addition to his time spent in restaurants, Antonio moonlights as a DJ and has performed across the US and in Europe. He has also become a Certified Minister and has had the pleasure of leading several weddings in recent months.
Wine Director of New Mexico Fine Dining | Assistant Maitre D’ of Bouche Bistro
Alena Harwell was raised in Taos, New Mexico, in an international community of wine and food enthusiasts. Throughout her life, Alena has had the pleasure of living in various wine regions across Europe, where she experienced first-hand the passion and stories behind the wine labels and what makes them so special.
At the age of 19, Alena took her first restaurant job at an upscale Italian bistro as a hostess, where she fell in love with taking care of people and the complete dining experience. Over time, her love and interest in hospitality blossomed, her hobby became a passion, and her passion turned into a career. She began exploring the diverse world of wine while bartending on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and teaching classes at a local wine store. While in New York, she helped design a wine list that received an Award of Excellence from The Wine Spectator Magazine. After many years in New York City, she moved back to New Mexico, where she joined the opening team for Chef James Campbell at La Boca. In 2013, she was tapped by Chef Charles Dale to open Bouche Bistro, where she helped to develop the extensive wine program, eventually culminating in her promotion to Wine Director for New Mexico Fine Dining.
Aside from her successes in the restaurant industry, Alena has a deep love of culture and the arts; she has been singing and dancing since she was a child and has studied Flamenco dance in Spain. When Alena is not on the floor dazzling guests, she can be found obsessing over music, where to travel next, interior design and architecture.
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