Josef Centeno opened Bäco Mercat in 2011 and in 2012 he opened BAR AMÁ. BAR AMÁ is his version of Tex-Mex inspired by the memories of his family's cooking.
Josef's career started in New York, where he worked at Daniel, La Côte Basque and Les Célébrités. He also was executive chef at Meson G and Opus in Los Angeles and previously chef de cuisine at Manresa in Los Gatos, Calif. Josef and Bäco Mercat have been featured in the L.A. Times, the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Food & Wine and Bon Appetit. He also has been nominated for a James Beard award.
Daniel Flores is a Southern California native and UCLA graduate who studied philosophy and ethnomusicology. His interest in a restaurant career was sparked as a food runner at Opus, where he first met Josef. Having worked in coffee shops and diners since the age of 15, Daniel sought to develop his interest in service by pursuing work in some of Los Angeles’ world-class restaurants. As a server at Osteria Mozza he delved into the professional study of Italian wine under the mentorship of David Rosoff. In 2011 he was excited to again work with Josef to open Baco Mercat and again in 2012 with BAR AMÁ. He currently lives in downtown Los Angeles.
Rodrigo Vasquez grew up in San Pablo Guila, Oaxaca. He has been cooking with Josef for 8 years and has been a key member in Josef's team. He now heads the kitchen at BAR AMÁ.
Hannes Hedberg moved here from Sweden when he was 9. His early childhood food memories include raising pigs, chickens, ducks, and baking bread in wood burning ovens. Hannes started as a dish washer three years ago and now is a sous chef at BAR AMÁ.
Heather Newman - Joining the Baco Mercat family shortly after its opening in 2011 greatly inspired native Angeleno, Heather Newman, to change career paths and submerse herself into the world of food. She is currently the Office Manager for both Baco Mercat and Bar Ama, for which she enjoys being a part of providing great customer service and experiences. She is a lover of Motown, American Sign Language, and anything with a fried egg on it.