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
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
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.

Emily Birch
SFI Event Coordinator
505 269-1593

Curtis Falkenburg
SFI Instructor/Mentor
505 250-9474

Amanda Luevano
SFI Manager/Mentor

Kristi Rauth-Snider
SFI Cafe Manager/Mentor


Our Board

Eric Griego | President
Strategic Consultant & UNM Health Policy Fellow

Aly Sanchez | Vice President
Director of Projects, The Grant Plant

Kwaku Sraha | Treasurer
Accountant, University of New Mexico

Michelle Arthur | Secretary
Department Chair/Associate Professor, UNM

Erin Engelbrecht, MCRP, MPA | Director
City of Albuquerque

Wendy Forbes | Director
Owner, Wendy92, LLC

Lisa Torraco | Director
Attorney, Torraco Law