Hire YouthWorks Catering for Your Next Event

YouthWorks Catering is a business outgrowth of our culinary arts training, a social enterprise in which young people work part-time providing food and service for local events.

Chef Carmen Rodriguez, former New Mexico Chef of the Year, leads the program, along with his wife Penny, to share expertise in cooking preparation, catering logistics, and front-of-the-house skills.

For more about Chef Carmen and his journey from young migrant farm worker to award-winning chef, click here.

Proceeds from catering jobs help support the YouthWorks culinary arts program, enabling more youths to get the training they need to move into the workforce.

For More Information

Our young people are ready and able to cater your next event—whether dinner for two, hors d’oeuvres for fifty, or full meal service for hundreds.

For information about menus, pricing, and scheduling, email Penny Rodriguez at culinary@santafeyouthworks.org or call her at 505-989-1855.

See the Crew in Action

Scroll down to read about our catering team, what their clients say about them, and the work they’re doing to prepare themselves for a future in the hospitality industry.

YouthWorks Caters Mayor’s Event

YouthWorks Catering was tapped to cater the half-day session at the Community Convention Center today during which Mayor Alan Webber’s transition working groups reported their findings.

Through the late morning and early afternoon, participants feasted on barbecued pork buns, roasted mushroom sandwiches, and chocolate chip cookies prepared by the YouthWorks crew.

Following the event, Mayor Webber joined the YouthWorks team—along with Chef Carmen Rodriguez (right) and Youthworks Executive Director Melynn Schuyler (left)—for a photo to commemorate the event.

YouthWorks Caters NOMCON

Long-time YouthWorks supporter Representative Ben Ray Luján visits YouthWorks at the first national gathering of the Nation of Makers Conference (NOMCON).

YouthWorks Catering, led by Chef Carmen and Penny Rodriguez, fed nearly 400 participants breakfast, lunch, and dinner over the two-day event at the Santa Fe Convention Center.

It took “all hands on deck” to manage the catering for two days of meals for such a large group. Here the catering crew listens to last-minute instructions from Chef Carmen.

NOMCON is a focal point for a movement empowered by increasingly affordable digital tools like 3-D printers, laser cutters and computer-controlled cutting machines that make cheap prototyping and manufacturing accessible.

YouthWorks Feeds Ute Fire Crew

YouthWorks volunteered to help feed the crews working the Ute Park fire in Northern New Mexico.

The YouthWorks catering team made and delivered sixty-six dozen—that’s nearly eight hundred—chocolate-chip cookies as their contribution to help feed the crew members as well as local residents who had to be evacuated.

In thanks, YouthWorks received this note:

YouthWorks Celebrates Supporters

YouthWorks celebrated its supporters with an evening of wine, hors d’oeuvres, and conversation at the High Summit home of YouthWorks Board Chair Fred Seibel and his wife Molly.

Guests had the opportunity to meet and chat with YouthWorks Executive Director Melynn Schuyler, members of the YouthWorks board, and the young people from YouthWorks Catering, who planned and prepared all of the hors d’oeuvres for the event.

The menu showcased the capabilities of the group, led by Chef Carmen and Penny Rodriguez. The catering service is now available for hire for both public and private events.

Roasted Fennel & Artichoke Heart Crostini with Sun Dried Tomato Basil Pesto (VG)
Stuffed Endive with Local Goat Cheese, Pinon, Honey & Red Onion Jam (GF) (VG)
Albondigas con Flame Roasted Tomato Romesco (GF)
Crispy Prosciutto Tuscan Cups Filled with Tuscan Melon Relish (GF)
Cucumber Roll, Coriander Seared Ahi Tuna & English Cucumber 
with Wasabi Pickled Ginger Japanese Mayo (GF)
Imported & Domestic Cheese Board with Fresh and Dried Fruits (GF)

(GF) Gluten Free  (VG) Vegetarian  (V) Vegan


For information about menus, pricing, and scheduling, email Penny Rodriguez at culinary@santafeyouthworks.org or call her at 505-989-1855.

YouthWorks Caters at Museum of Spanish Colonial Art

YouthWorks Catering prepared a tapas feast for those honoring this year’s winner of the Masters Award at the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art.

Carlos José Otero was given the Masters Award for Lifetime Achievement for his contribution to Spanish New Mexican artistic traditions and culture.

The award is given each year to an artist who raises awareness of the art form, is included in private and museum collections, and has been tapped to receive awards at Spanish Market and other fairs and exhibitions.

Tapas Menu

Tortilla Espanola wtih Roasted Garlic Saffron Aioli (GF) (VG)

Pulpo Gallego (Grilled Octopus) with Smoked Paprika Romesco on Toast

Gazpacho Shooter with Cucumber Relish (GF) (VG)

Assorted Spanish Meats and Cheeses (GF)

(GF) Gluten Free  (VG) Vegetarian  (V) Vegan


What Our Catering Clients Say . . .

A wonderful evening with a terrific Spanish and New Mexican menu . . . great service provided by YouthWorks young people and Chef Carmen and Penny Rodriguez.

Museum of Spanish Colonial Art

YW Culinary Team Caters Funders’ Dinner

Under the direction of Chef Carmen Rodriguez, the YouthWorks culinary team put their skills to work at the Intermountain West Funder Network dinner at Meow Wolf on May 3.

The Funder Network brings together funders who can work alongside each other to strengthen and expand funding and philanthropic leadership in eight western states, including New Mexico.

The menu featured a variety of classic New Mexican dishes hand-made by the YouthWorks culinary team.


Chips with Roasted Salsa, Pico de Gallo & Tomatillo Salsa (VG) (V)

Red Chile Camarones Seco Posole (GF)
Green Chile Stew (GF)

Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese Salad (GF) (VG)
Apricot Jicama Salad ((VG) (V)

Tamalito Trio: Green Chile Chicken, Red Chile Pork & Christmas Calabacitas (GF)
Tres Hermanas Stuffed Sopapillas (VG)
Lamb Adovada (GF)

Home-Made Corn Tortillas & Arroz Verde (VG) (V)

Mexican Natillas (GF) (VG)


(GF) Gluten Free  (VG) Vegetarian  ((V) Vegan


Visit Us on Cinco de Mayo

Stop by the YouthWorks food booth at the Railyard between 11 am and 5 pm on Cinco de Mayo (May 5). We’ll be serving tasty hamburgers, cheeseburgers, veggie burgers, and hot dogs—topped off with Mexican chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

All proceeds will benefit the Youthworks culinary program, which prepares our young people for jobs in the food industry.

Students Fill Valentine’s Day Orders

Youthworks culinary students prepare Valentine’s Day sweets under the direction of Chef Carmen Rodriguez, who leads the YouthWorks culinary arts program.

For the Valentine’s Day sweets sale, Amanda and Matt are learning the fine points of creating chocolate-covered strawberries, Mexican wedding cookies, and chocolate truffles.

Proceeds from the sales help support culinary arts training for young men and women to prepare them for work in local area restaurants.

What Our Catering Clients Say . . .

We were honored to have the YouthWorks Culinary Program, under the direction of Chef Carmen Rodriguez, participate in the 2018 Legislative Reception. Thank you for your generosity of time and amazing food.

Mae Martinez

Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce

YouthWorks Tapped to Serve Legislators

The YouthWorks culinary arts team was one of seventeen local food providers serving hors d’oeuvres at the 2018 Chamber Legislative Reception.

Under the direction of Chef Carmen Rodriguez, the YouthWorks culinary team served Teriyaki Chicken Tacos with Red Chile to hundreds of guests gathered at the Santa Fe Convention Center.

Sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, this January 29 event is the largest legislative networking event of the year. Guests from around New Mexico attend to network, connect, and advocate for New Mexico business.


Chef Carmen Rodriguez, manager of the YouthWorks culinary arts program, and Owner-Chef Ahmed Obo, of Jambo’s Café, take a break to compare notes at the Chamber’s Legislative Reception.


YouthWorks Assists at Souper Bowl

Chef Carmen Rodriguez leveraged his slot at the Food Depot’s 2018 Souper Bowl to give YouthWorks culinary students a chance to put their skills to work in a very public setting.

Ashley and Kevin, shown above with Chef Carmen, spent the day putting the finishing touches on and helping serve Pato con Palomitas, a crowd favorite at the Food Depot’s 24th Souper Bowl.

At this annual Food Depot fundraiser, more than two dozen chefs compete for “best soup” honors in multiple categories. Proceeds from the event help support the Food Depot’s mission to eliminate hunger in Northern New Mexico.

Chef Carmen, the owner/operator of MiSanta Catering along with his wife Penny, is leading the YouthWorks culinary arts program, sharing his expertise in cooking preparation, catering logistics, and front-of-the-house skills.

For more information about YouthWorks Catering or to schedule their services for your next event, contact Penny Rodriguez at YouthWorks.

What Our Catering Clients Say . . .

The New Mexico History Museum and Palace of the Governors has been delighted with the service of the YouthWorks culinary staff for special events, and we are delighted to participate with YouthWorks in its mission to support the youth of Santa Fe.

Andrew J. Wulf

Director, NM History Museum and Palace of the Governors

What Our Catering Clients Say . . .

The culinary staff of YouthWorks has always demonstrated a friendly and helpful manner, great work ethic, and attention to detail, which is so important in a museum environment. The menu is always varied, generous and delicious!

Tay Balenovic

Special Events Coordinator, NM History Museum and Palace of the Governors

YW Caters Brunch for History Museum

Trainees in the YouthWorks Culinary Program partnered with Chef Carmen Rodriguez, of MiSanta, to cater a special brunch today at the Palace of the Governors.

Fifty New Mexico History Museum docents feasted on a special menu based totally on local New Mexico products.


Winter Harvest Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette (GF) (VG) (V)

Achiote Pork & Chicken Tinga Tamales (GF)

Red & Green Chile (VG) (V)

Calabasitas Quiche (VG)

Natillas & Buenuelos (VG)


(GF) Gluten Free  (VG) Vegetarian  (V) Vegan

Chef Carmen is offering guidance to the YouthWorks culinary program, sharing his expertise in cooking preparation, catering logistics, and front-of-the-house skills.

For more information about YouthWorks Catering and the services they offer, contact Penny Rodriguez.


YW Partners with the Food Depot

Developing Culinary Skills to Feed Hungry Children

YouthWorks culinary students work in the Verde kitchen, preparing nutritious meals for the after-school meal program.

This effort, a collaboration between the Food Depot and YouthWorks, will feed children who might otherwise not have enough to eat after the end of the school day.

Support Our Enterprises


Check out the latest YW news!
Check our quarterly updates!

Connect with Us

Physical Address
1504 Cerrillos Road
Santa Fe, NM 87505

Mailing Address
1000 Cordova Place #415
Santa Fe, NM 87505

(505) 989-1855

Monday - Friday, 8 am - 5 pm

Email info@santafeyouthworks.org