Huerta Santiago - Huerta, Santiago

Biography

HandCraft Kitchen & Cocktails’ Chef Santiago Huerta was born in Puebla, Mexico. His father worked as an iron worker while his mother stayed home to care for the family and make sure “I stayed out of trouble.” Both parents worked extremely hard to provide Santiago with the best education possible. However, his heart was in the kitchen. “Growing up and watching my mother cook all the time, helping her and learning from her made me feel like I could one day be the best cook ever.”

Hard economic times forced Santiago to immigrate to the... READ MORE

HandCraft Kitchen & Cocktails’ Chef Santiago Huerta was born in Puebla, Mexico. His father worked as an iron worker while his mother stayed home to care for the family and make sure “I stayed out of trouble.” Both parents worked extremely hard to provide Santiago with the best education possible. However, his heart was in the kitchen. “Growing up and watching my mother cook all the time, helping her and learning from her made me feel like I could one day be the best cook ever.”

Hard economic times forced Santiago to immigrate to the US where he settled in NYC and worked as a dishwasher. He moved up the line mastering all kitchen jobs until he landed at the top. His biggest challenge was finding the right kitchen with the right employer and employees. Eventually he found HandCraft Kitchen & Cocktails where the ownership gave him the opportunity to prove his kitchen skills and spread his wings as a chef. Today he runs the busy kitchen that turns out some of his childhood favorites such as fish tacos and his signature mac and cheese with kale (one of HandCraft’s most popular dishes).

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What is your favorite NYC restaurant? And what is your go-to dish? I really don't have a favorite restaurant in NYC. I really love to try new things all the time - it's exciting. Although I do find myself gravitating toward fresh seafood as my go-to dish. What is your ultimate meal? I can't get enough of our kale mac and cheese! It's something my mother made for me when I was a kid and it always reminds me of home. What three things are always in your pantry? Jalapenos, cilantro and onions. If you weren't a chef, what would you be? I love cars as much as I love food, so I would be a mechanic! If you could cook with anyone, who would that be? Without a doubt, Aaron Sanchez.