CHEF CARMEN RODRIGUEZ
Culinary Adventure Began in the Fields
Originally from Chicago Ill, Chef Carmen Rodriguez has traveled the nation as well as the globe
developing menus that genuinely honors the farm-to-table concept. He has a true connection
with the agricultural industry as every summer his migrant family would travel to work the produce
fields in different states around the country. While working in the fields, both Carmen’s
great grandmother and grandmother would take the “seconds” or ugly produce and create delicious
meals. Learning how to cook from his great grandmother and grandmother, Chef Carmen
has taken his humble early learning and has transformed them into a culinary journey that has
developed into an appreciative customer fan base and award winning dishes.
Experiencing New Cuisines, Developing New Skills
Entering the professional kitchen at the tender age of 14, as a dishwasher, he caught the
attention of his soon to be culinary mentor. After several years of working with his mentor,
Carmen went into the military traveling the globe. Chef Carmen would spend his days off in the
kitchens of several of his mentor’s colleagues in the various countries he visited learning the
true flavors and techniques of the different cuisines.
Developing Signature Dishes & Kitchen Personnel
Carmen took on his first Executive Chef opportunity in Santa Barbara, California at the age of
26. He soon began to gain accolades for his distinctive menus and original cuisine. He quickly
began to climb the ladder of elite chefs in California, getting noticed by CHEF magazine, the
California Strawberry Board, Estyo Magazine, Univision Television as well as many of the Chef
celebrities in and around California.
Culinary Opportunities in the Southwest
In 2000, Carmen was tapped by renowned Chef Mark Miller to become chef-de-cuisine for
Miller’s famed Coyote Cafe in Santa, New Mexico. While residing in Santa Fe. he also worked
as Executive Chef at Bishop’s Lodge and La Posada to enhance their current kitchen’s menus.
In 2012 Carmen was named Chef of the Year for the state of New Mexico. He was awarded this
honor not only for his cuisine, but also for his dedication to the development of the city’s culinary
personnel and time given back to his community.
Recruited to Solve / Improve Corporate Kitchens
Chef Carmen was then asked to take on a new culinary challenge. Recruited by a Hospitality
management company, Carmen moved from coast to coast to “fix”, improve or elevate important
resort kitchens from Florida to the West Coast. While returning to California in 2014, Carmen
was asked to appear on Guy’s Grocery Games for the Food Network as well as a yet-to-be
aired television show on A&E’s FYI Channel. While working in the Coachella Valley, Chef Carmen
collaborated with local hotels and 3 Michelin star chefs including Michael Tusk, Curtis Duffy,
Guy Martin, Daniel Burns and Claire Smyth.
Returning to Santa Fe and Delighted Customers
Carmen and his wife Penny currently work together in their catering business, MiSanta, in
the City Different. The response, with just an initial unofficial announcement of their return, has
been tremendous. They are already booking professional lunches and private parties.