Omar MonteroLa Santa Taqueria
Born in 1986 and raised in Mexico City, the inception of Chef Omar Montero’s culinary career began at an early age. As his family owned and operated a successful catering company, Montero spent his childhood helping in the kitchen, and that’s where his affinity for food began.
Upon graduating high school, Montero was eager to pursue a career as a Chef. He followed his heart and passion for food and enrolled in a professional culinary training program at the University Anahuac – the campus of the world-renowned Le Cordon Bleu in Mexico City. There he participated in several internships at local catering businesses, including the Hipodromo de las Americas – one of the biggest horse racing track sites in North America. Additionally, he worked with several restaurants surrounding the university, where he received valuable training in both casual and fine dining concepts.
By the end of 2007, Montero was practicing at Fiesta Americana, a 200-room hotel with three banquet rooms, in Monterrey, Mexico, where he learned his way around the kitchen and mastered the logistics of large-scale events and daily kitchen operations. He later transferred to Hotel Barcelo – Riviera Maya where he completed his round of internships during his course of study. He then returned to Mexico City to work for one of the city’s most prestigious private catering companies, where he learned and developed a passion for the complexities of running a catering business – from logistics to menu design.
Montero then made the bold move to the United States where he expanded his experience in fine dining in kitchens of luxurious boutique hotels across Florida, Colorado, Minnesota, San Francisco and Napa Valley. He was also mentored by Chef Luis Pous (of Little Palm Island Resort and Asia de Cuba), and was even part of his team for a guest chef experience at the James Beard House in New York City.
Chef Montero made his move to Miami when he joined the culinary team at The Setai Miami Beach managing The Bar & The Courtyard and incorporating his Latin influence with Mediterranean concepts. In July 2014, Chef Omar embarked on a new journey to open La Veinte Deli & Café – Cantina La Veinte’s sister restaurant – where he conceptualized and executed the menu concept for the beautiful waterfront, Brickell restaurant. With his passion for delicious food, he took the flavors to the next level by elevating the authenticity and creativity of the dishes.
This project inspired Montero and sparked an entrepreneurial spirit, leading him to partner with Chef Giovanni Sandri in 2016 and open Unique Catering Design – a full-service catering company which offers planning and execution of various private events, productions, celebrations, weddings, corporate and social events. The Mexican-Italian duo created and tailored events to ensure guests embarked on a culinary experience that was not only unique in flavor, but presentation as well.
During the same time, Chef Omar served as a consultant to Copper 29 Bar & Restaurant where he created the culinary concept for the Coral Gables hotspot, and assisted in the opening of Healthy & Happy Café in Coral Gables – an innovative concept that finds the balance between body, soul and mind through its menu and atmosphere featuring organic bites with Chef Omar’s twist.
Today, Chef Omar runs the show at La Santa Taqueria, his first personal project which traces back to his roots as an authentic Mexican taqueria. La Santa opened in July 2017 as a pop-up concept in Midtown Garden Center serving authentic Mexican street fare, from tacos to corn, guacamole and homemade sauces. La Santa brings the most famous street tacos to Miami’s culinary grounds, close to the heart and history of the Mexican culture to Miami. Chef Omar delights guests with everyday dishes to the Mexican community but a new palate adventure to the Miami gastronomic scene. With this project, Chef Omar once again proves that passion and respect for cultural roots are the core of any successful chef.
Chef Omar is currently scouting to finding La Santa a permanent home in Miami, where he plans to expand the restaurant to a Mexican food hall in 2018.