Chef Hector Santiago was born in Puerto Rico. Nearly 25 years ago, he took his first culinary job cooking in the San Juan kitchen of his mentor, Chef Giovanna Huyke. Under her advisement, Chef Santiago attended the Culinary Institute of America in New York. Following graduation, he trained in the kitchens of the Greenbrier Hotel in West Virginia, the Manhattan Ocean Club, Stony Hill Inn in New Jersey, and Heartland Brewery.
Fast forward to 2001, when he moved to Atlanta and opened his restaurant Pura Vida—a highly regarded Latino tapas restaurant. For over a decade, Chef Santiago traveled, explored, and cooked, bringing the authentic flavors and ingredients of his beloved Latino America to Pura Vida. He researched and expanded his technique with stints in the kitchens of renowned international chefs, including José Andrés,Wylie Dufresne (WD~50) and Andoni Luis Aduriz. As Chef-Owner of Pura Vida, Santiago was a three-time, James Beard Foundation “Best Chef of the Southeast” Semifinalist.
Chef Pedro Matos first began working with Chef Santiago while cooking on the line at Pura Vida, where he also baked pastries and desserts. At El Super Pan, Chef Matos heads up the kitchen under Chef Santiago’s guidance. Chef Matos previously led the bread program at acclaimed Decatur restaurant Cakes & Ale and manned the kitchen with Chef Santiago at Big Sky in Buckhead.
Chef Luis Guevara started cooking with Chef Santiago at esteemed Atlanta restaurant Abbattoir, where the two bonded over a shared passion for Latino American cuisine. Previously, Luis worked at Empire State South, BLT and at Anne Quatrano’s restaurants and charcuterie shop at Star Provisions. Now, heading the evening shift at El Super Pan, he creates the nightly menu of small plates showcasing his love for charcuterie and Latino American cuisine.