Chemo Barrera grew up on the Southside of San Antonio and began his culinary journey at home, learning from his family at a young age and being inspired by home cooks. While he started his cooking career working in some national restaurant chains, after several years, he realized that he wanted to grow his culinary knowledge and expertise by attending the Culinary Arts Institute here in San Antonio. Upon graduating culinary school, he spent nine years working for Chef Jason Dady Restaurant Group before becoming chef at The Well.
Under Jason Dady’s mentorship, Barrera worked as sous chef at Tre Trattoria along with being Dady’s right-hand man whenever Dady opened a new restaurant. Through his years with Dady, Barrera perfected his skills in various cuisines, from Tuscan Italian at Tre Trattoria and Tre Enoteca, to smoked meats at B&D Ice House and Two Bros Barbecue Market to seafood at the Shuck Shack.
As a proud Texas native, Barrera has the upmost respect for the Lone Star State and its traditions. To The Well, Barrera takes Texas comfort foods and elevates it to the next level of sophistication while staying true to the cuisine’s time-honored flavors.
Barrera’s passion for the San Antonio culinary scene continues to grow. “San Antonio has a lot to offer and is filled with culture…and it’s all happening right now. I’m just glad to be a part of that,” Barrera said. Inspired by chefs with the notion to try new things and push the culinary envelope, Barrera strives to emulate those same qualities. He attributes his hard work and sacrifice for getting him where he is today.
As a San Antonio native, Margeaux Alcorta is thrilled to be a part of The Well’s kitchen, which is transporting San Antonio eaters back to their Texas roots, while producing quality, sophisticated fare made from scratch.
Before joining the culinary team at The Well, Alcorta graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Las Vegas, worked at the fine-dining restaurant Rosemary’s in Las Vegas, and then came back to San Antonio to work with the Jason Dady Restaurant Group where she climbed the culinary ladder for more than four years. Starting as a line cook under Jason Dady, Alcorta worked her way up to be the executive sous chef at nearly every one of Dady’s restaurants.
From Dady, Alcorta attributes her dedication to working with fresh products and keeping a scratch kitchen. Through her experience with the restaurant group, Alcorta also feels very confident in running any restaurant kitchen.
At The Well, Alcorta finds one of the most solid cooking staff’s she’s ever worked with, one of which is dedicated to ensuring that Texas comfort food has never tasted so fine.
As a former Food and Beverage Manager with Marriott Hotels and a Mixologist and Wine Consultant with Glazer’s Wholesale, James Tavera brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the bar at The Well, both in new products on the market and how to effectively lead large teams of employees.
During his time with the J.W. Marriott, Tavera was in charge of ordering all alcoholic beverages for the resort, and later he worked as a program manager for the Marriott Rivercenter & Riverwalk where he oversaw budgets, drink development and much of employee management.
With Glazer’s, Tavera worked with restaurant owners, managers and food and beverage directors. He also helped develop cocktail recipes that have gone on to be featured in national cocktail conferences.
In addition, Tavera has helped develop cocktails and drink menus such as the cocktail list at J. Prime Steakhouse, margaritas for Mariachi Bar, the cocktail and wine menu for the AT&T Center and cocktails for the San Antonio Cocktail Conference.
At The Well, Tavera has created a vibrant drink menu that maintains a San Antonio feel. “I want to make a cocktail with layers, smells and tastes that seem very fresh and organic,” he said.
Some of his favorite drinks on The Well’s menu include The East Texas, featuring Patron tequila, Pama, fresh blackberries and sage; The Poteet Popper, using Tito’s vodka, fresh strawberries and jalapeños; and the Hornitos Paleta Margarita, featuring Hornitos tequila and locally-made paletas.