Xavier Santiago draws inspiration for his cooking from his Puerto Rican heritage. Growing up around his grandmother’s farm instilled in him the lifelong desire to be a chef.
Santiago began his career while in high school, working his way through each station in the kitchen over the course of only three years, eventually earning the well-deserved role as kitchen manager. Santiago continued his cooking career under notable chefs who he admired, such as Billy Grants, Ted Vetter, and Mike Kelly- honing his culinary skills in variety of cuisines and learning valuable new techniques. Soon after he took advantage of the opportunity to go home to Puerto Rico, where he went “back to the basics,” expanding his creativity as a chef in the kitchen while using limited ingredients.
Inspired by the concept of Barcelona Wine Bar and Barteca Restaurant Group as a whole, Santiago joined the team as Executive Chef of the West Hartford location in August 2016. His distinct background shines in all the dishes he serves, as he creates menu items with bold, strong flavors.