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.

Cristino Griego

Instructor/Executive Chef
303 880-1457

After working in corporate America for several years, Cristino decided to pursue his passion in the culinary industry. 15 years ago he began his studies at Cook Street’s professional culinary program where he then left to live in Italy and France to continue to hone and perfect his passion.

From there, Cristino continued his culinary career in Denver, working as a executive Chef and in 2016 returned to his former culinary school Cook Street as their Chef Instructor and Director of Business Development.

Now, in 2021 Cristino is back in ABQ teaching future culinary entrepreneurs the ins and outs of owning a successful small food business.

Julian Griego

Program Coordinator/Chef
505 504-1018

Julian’s passion for culinary arts began very early in childhood learning to cook traditional New Mexican cuisine with his grandmother and grandfather. He is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Las Vegas in 2005 and has worked as a cook and chef in Las Vegas as well as in many restaurants and other food service outlets around Albuquerque.

Julian has taught culinary arts at CNM’s Culinary Arts Program, has taught Culinary Arts at RFK Charter School and helped to develop the curriculum and training program for Street Food Institute. He believes strongly in the power of food to build communities, well being, and support families.

Emily Birch
SFI Event Coordinator
505 269-1593

Emily is a Native New Mexican and a graduate of CNM’s culinary program. She went on to complete an internship at SFI and became an employee in 2015. Eventually, she worked her way up to a manager position. In 2018 she transitioned out of the kitchen to become SFI’s Event Coordinator. Contact her today and book with SFI!

Our Board

Aly Sanchez | President
Director of Projects, The Grant Plant

Erin Engelbrecht, MCRP, MPA | Vice President
City of Albuquerque

Samantha Luna | Treasurer
Financial Administrator and Training Specialist, George Washington University

Wendy Forbes | Secretary
Owner, Wendy92, LLC

Antionette Tellez-Humble | Director

Shawn Ruggerio | Director
President & CEO of Global Santa Fe

Robert Egger | Director
Former Founder of DC & LA Kitchen

Audrey B. Arnold | Director
Executive Director, UNM Continuing Education