Diego Galicia has a passion for cooking. As chef and co-owner of Mixtli and MezcaleriaMixtli he spends the majority of his time in the kitchen and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Born in Toluca, Mexico, Galicia takes the majority of his inspiration from his Mexican roots. The culture, way of life, and most importantly, the flavors of the country, all influence his cooking.
“I love my country and therefore I must defend it as much as I can. People believe Mexico is old, outdated, and all we have to offer are Mariachis, nachos, luchadores, piñatas and sugar skulls. I like to show the other side of Mexico. The modern, clean, crisp, minimalist, contemporary, young and vibrant Mexico.” Galicia said about his love and pride for his home country.
In 2001, Galicia moved to San Antonio to study psychology at The University of Texas at San Antonio. He switched his studies to his favorite subject, the culinary arts, and enrolled in The Culinary Institute of America. After lots of hard work and dedication he earned his degree in 2010. While in school at the CIA, Galicia worked at celebrity chef John Besh’s, Lüke where he met his mentor and best friend, executive chef John Russ. From Russ he learned what it really means to run a kitchen. While working at Lüke, Galicia spent weekday mornings cooking at Patty Lou’s at the Olmos Pharmacy. He also worked at a local French bakery where he ran Sunday brunch. Galicia did all of this while in school, a true testament to his work ethic.
After graduating from the CIA, Galicia spent time working and gaining invaluable experience. He had the opportunity to work back in his native Mexico at Azul Condesa, owned by renowned chef, Ricardo Munoz. Wanting to travel and learn more from other restaurant kitchens he staged at Michelin starred restaurants including Moto in Chicago and Atelier Crenn in San Francisco, where Galicia met chef Dominique Crenn, a mentor who has been a big inspiration.
Mixtli is a true labor of love that Galicia started with co-owner and chef Rico Torres in 2013. It is a very personal and intimate project that reflects their love and passion for Mexico. They wanted to bring old world recipes and techniques into a modern kitchen. The chefs didn’t have much to start with and so they built the business quite literally with their own two hands. To this day, Galicia’s daily tasks include washing dishes, calculating food costs, deveining shrimp and writing checks; he truly does it all. Seeing the success of Mixtli, Galicia was inspired to start his newest project Mezcaleria Mixtli. Keeping with the Mixlti brand, Mezcaleria Mixtli is about bringing the true Mexico to the U.S.
If only he had time, Galicia would pick up an old hobby, his reef aquarium. Time off is rare though so he spends that time with his wife Erin and their two English bulldogs Raleigh and Rory