Street Food Institute | About Us

Who We Are

SFI is a non-profit organization of food service and business professionals dedicated to shaping a healthy, sustainable and creative food future across New Mexico. We’re guided by our belief that street food has an amazing capacity to connect people and enrich our community by creating jobs, developing local business opportunities and inspiring the culinary leaders of tomorrow.

We’re here to share, teach and inspire students, future entrepreneurs, existing food truck operators, and the generous sponsors who support our vision.

Our Team

Tina Garcia-Shams

Executive Director
Street Food Institute
tina@streetfoodinstitute.org
505 507-3132

Tina is a NM native with 27 years experience in private, public and non-profit sectors. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from UNM and an alternative teaching license in Social Studies from Santa Fe Community College. Tina served as a teacher, advisor and Community Engagement Director at Amy Biehl High School for 13 years and worked for several years in the private sector as a Human Resources Generalist and Manager. Tina currently serves on the Board of The Grants Collective, a non-profit that addresses the philanthropic divide that New Mexico faces by building nonprofit capacity for competitive grant seeking through professional development, shared resources, and access to expertise. She also serves on the Amy Biehl High School Foundation Board.

David Sellers

Program Director
/Executive Chef
Street Food Institute
david@streetfoodinstitute.org
505 310-1065

Dave began his culinary career twenty years ago, while living in New Hampshire and completing a B.A in Philosophy from Plymouth State University. Dave started as a baker in an all-organic bakery where he developed a deep appreciation for sustainable, local, from-scratch cooking. These pillars became the basis of his cooking philosophy. Dave moved on to cook in San Francisco and then Santa Fe, where he spent ten years as chef of the venerable Santacafé. Dave then opened his own restaurant, Amavi, to critical acclaim, where both the cuisine and the wine focused on the Mediterranean region. Most recently Dave turned his culinary exploration to New England where he spent four years as the chef of Maxfish, delving deeply into the world of fish and farm-to-table dining. Regional cuisine and teaching have always been a top priority for Dave. He has traveled extensively in both Europe and the Far East researching local cuisines.

Julian Griego

Lead Instructor/Chef de Cuisine
Albuquerque

julian@streetfoodinstitute.org
505 322-8860

Julian’s passion for the culinary arts began as a child learning to cook traditional New Mexican foods with his grandpa. This passion lead him to pursue a career in the culinary arts. After graduating with an A.O.S. degree from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Las Vegas, Julian spent time working as a cook in Las Vegas and eventually as a chef in many fine dining restaurants here in New Mexico. Julian has also worked as a Culinary Arts instructor at Central New Mexico Community College and is dedicated to teaching and instilling a passion for the Culinary Arts.

Emily Birch
SFI Event Coordinator
eabirch01@gmail.com
505 269-1593

Joe Meyer
SFI Food Truck Manager/Mentor

Marcus Montoya
SFI Food Truck Manager/Mentor

Chris Mann
SFI Cafe Manager/Mentor

GET IN TOUCH

Our Board

Eric Griego | President
Strategic Consultant and UNM Health Policy Fellow
ericgriegoabq@gmail.com

Aly Sanchez | Treasurer
Director of Projects, The Grant Plant
alysanchez@netscape.net

Robert Baade | Vice President
Director, RFK Charter School
rfkbaade@yahoo.com

Michelle Arthur | Secretary
Department Chair/Associate Professor, UNM
arthur@mgt.unm.edu

Wendy Forbes
Owner, Wendy92, LLC
wendy@wendy92.com