Mark Kiffin, celebrated author, Chef, and Owner of Zacatecas Tacos + Tequila and The Compound Restaurant, is dedicated to creating culinary concepts that infuse traditional techniques with new standards. His vision for Zacatecas began over a decade ago when he experienced the flavors and approaches found in traditional marketplaces around the world.
Chef Kiffin’s unwavering dedication to quality is apparent in his accomplishments. In 2000 he reopened The Compound Restaurant, a long-time beloved culinary presence in Santa Fe renowned for its distinctive style and elegance since the 1960s. Through Chef Kiffin’s diligence and dedication, the restaurant has reclaimed its original stature as a landmark destination. A recognized leader in Southwestern cuisine, Kiffin was awarded the prestigious James Beard Foundation award Best Chef of the Southwest in 2005.
In his thirty plus years in the industry, Mark has partnered with world-renowned chefs in conceptualizing and operating restaurants with world-class ranking. Beginning in 1990, Chef Kiffin partnered with owner Mark Miller at the famed Santa Fe-based flagship Coyote Café and later Coyote Café MGM Grand in Las Vegas, where he acted as Corporate Executive Chef. During his eight year tenure at Coyote Café, Kiffin co-authored three books with Miller: Coyote’s Pantry (Ten Speed Press, 1993), The Great Salsa Book (Ten Speed Press, 1994), and The Indian Market Cookbook (Ten Speed Press, 1995).
Chef Kiffin also created, designed and tested many of Coyote Café’s popular line of Southwestern food products under the Coyote Cocinas brand. In addition, he worked as a consulting Chef for the opening of Miller’s Red Sage restaurant in Washington, D.C., and was periodically a guest chef there.
Chef Kiffin co-wrote his fourth cookbook, The Steak Lover’s Companion, with Fred Simon, president and CEO of Omaha Steak International. Based on his work at The Highlands Inn in Carmel California, Mark has been a featured chef in the prestigious Art Culinaire Magazine and in the book Cooking With the Masters of Food and Wine.
Chef Kiffin enjoys teaching and has appeared as a guest chef at numerous national and international food events including, but not limited to, Pebble Beach Food & Wine, Los Angeles Food & Wine, Wolfgang Puck’s Meals on Wheels, Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, The Aspen Food and Wine, The James Beard House in New York City; Masters of Food and Wine in Carmel, California; the Naples Winter Wine Festival, The Four Seasons and Regent Hotels in Singapore, the International Olive Council seminar in Morocco, North Africa – not to mention guesting at numerous prestigious wineries throughout the United States.
Chef Kiffin opened Zacatecas Tacos + Tequila in January, 2012. After owning a restaurant in Santa Fe for over eleven years, he envisioned a casual restaurant that offers high quality Mexican cuisine featuring recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation – a real Taqueria.