Our Story Begins In Santa Fe
Growing up in Santa Fe, I was immersed in food, art and the New Mexican culture for as long as I can remember. My family would come in to town to visit and my mother and grandmother would take us around Santa Fe to great food, sipping well crafted margaritas, and enjoy the beautiful history and sites that my city has to offer. This inspired a life eager to share my amazing state with the world!
Prior to graduating from the University of New Mexico in 2007 with a bachelor of fine arts, I had the opportunity to make my way through Europe while studying art in Italy, London and France. Senior year, I had the honor of interning under fresco muralist Fredrico Vigil at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, and as an undergrad I participated in the Land Arts of the American Southwest Graduate program provided by UNM. Post graduation, I was recruited as an assistant gallery director to a prestigious gallery on Canyon Road. I worked there for some time before being introduced to the Food Tour industry in early 2010. I fell in love with the concept and almost over night, Food Tour New Mexico was born.
The first tour opened in Santa Fe, May of 2011 and focused on a New Mexican inspired cuisine. This innovative concept of a progressive lunch combined with a sightseeing tour quickly became a hit among visiting foodies. Since then, I have launched 7 tours with different themes between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. In that short time Food Tour New Mexico won the certificate of excellence from TripAdvisor for the last 5 years and has become the #1 Culinary tour in New Mexico, the #1 Walking tour in Santa Fe, and the #6 overall tour in Santa Fe based on TripAdvisor customer reviews. Most recently,
we launched a progressive wine pairing dinner tour called Savor Santa Fe that is proving to be a hit!
In all, I was inspired to create a new and creative way to inform visitors about the heart and soul of New Mexico by feeding minds and hearts through passion, culture and history! My dream is to treat everyone like family and eventually become the top reason people visit Santa Fe.
Joe Gallegos enjoys food, history, and talking to people. He grew up in Santa Fe, NM, and holds a BA from Amherst College in history, where he also guided campus tours. When he isn't giving a tour, he is most likely involved in some sort of performance based-activity. He is active in the local film and theater scenes, and has worked internationally as a performer. He prefers red over green,firm over soft, and cold over hot.
Bernadette Peña is an active Santa Fe Arts Commissioner and teacher at Capital High School. She participates in community theater and can often be found acting in local productions. Bernadette was born and raised in Santa Fe and often expresses her love sharing her city with others. So much so that she has been known to lead informal food and margarita tours for her family members visiting from out of town. Professionally, she has guided with us here at Food Tour New Mexico for the last 4 years and is always excited to treat our guest like family! Her favorite local food is red chili cheese enchiladas and sopapillas.
Marissa Roybal is a native to New Mexico and represents over 7 generations in our beautiful state. She attended the Art Institute of Seattle and the Santa Fe Community College with a focus on Artist Representation where she worked in the music industry in Santa Fe and Seattle during the late 80s and early 90s. Music continues to be an integral part of her life and you will find her supporting her son as an emerging musician, producer, writer, engineer, producer and performance artist.
Marissa fell in love with food and the service industry during her first restaurant job when she was 14 years old where she took on a server position at JB’s Big Boy which was at De Vargas Mall in the current location of Astrisco’s Café. Now Marissa has more than 40+ years of customer service experience, administrative support, bookkeeping, property management, and event production where thirteen of those years, she was self-employed, offering those services as a personal assistant to multiple clients at any given time. This honed her creative problem-solving and helped her develop a comprehensive skillset for a variety of situations including giving food tours.
Marissa loves to garden, cook, and eat! She watched the women in her family cook since she was a young girl, and the knack for creating her own recipes and working with what is in the fridge and cupboards has become her personal niche at home. The value of minimizing waste is a part of her cooking which can develop into what her family lovingly calls 'New Mexican Hippie cuisine'. So, when Marissa discovered Food Tour New Mexico she became intrigued with the notion of food, history and fun. This set off the beginning of Marissa’s food tour experience. She is excited to share her local knowledge, love for our native cuisine, historical sights and a bit of history as she spends a few hours with you!