Danny Mena of Sembrado - Biography
New York, NY
While studying at Virginia Tech, Danny Mena hosted dinner parties for friends, delighting in exposing them to real Mexican cuisine. He thought about dropping out to attend culinary school, but graduated and returned to Mexico City to pursue engineering. Engineering didn’t pan out. Mena enrolled at the French Culinary Institute in New York and interned at Blue Hill. For more than a year, he worked at The Modern, leaving to open Hecho en Dumbo with friend Ethan Smith in the former Dumbo General Store.
Mena serves food that reflects the essence of his native culture, much like the dishes from his original dinner parties. The nightly festivities at Hecho en Dumbo are popular, especially the authentic antojitos. The restaurant eventually expanded and moved to The Bowery, and in 2013, Mena opened a second restaurant in Manhattan called Sembrado, which is a grill-focused taqueria with a mezcal-centered bar.