THE TALENT BEHIND THE COYOTE
Owner Quinn Stephenson has been driven by his fascination for hospitality and food from a young age becoming a full-time bartender at 21. Through his unwavering dedication to his work, he was quickly promoted to bar manager, then to general manager of Mark Miller’s Coyote Cafe in 2003. In between his restaurant responsibilities, he also studied business at UNM and managed multiple hospitality properties in Santa Fe. Between each operation, they share several awards and accolades including: Open Table’s and Time Magazine’s Top 100 Restaurant in the Country, Mobil Four Star Diamond Award, Trip Advisor’s #1 Restaurant in Santa Fe County, USA Today’s Top 10 New Restaurant in the Country, along with many more local and national accreditations.
Although Quinn manages day-to day-operations, he most notably finds his passion as a drink aficionado. As a Sommelier, he brings the best in wine selections and is well know for his innovation in mixology. He has been honored to begin a relationship with Patron Tequila, for whom he hosted a Secret Dining Society, served as head mixologist for their Afficianodo events and in 2014, he was chosen as the sole bartender in the country to develop core recipes for their new tequila line named ROCA.
After 19 years and now as the sole owner of this legendary restaurant, Quinn is excited to celebrate Coyote Cafe’s 31st anniversary. Along with the entire staff, he feels it’s his responsibility and privilege to honor the history and culture of the brand while simultaneously bringing a modern flair to Coyote Cafe’s culinary and mixology.
Chef Dakota Weiss Returns to Her Culinary Nest as Coyote Cafe’s Executive Chef
Upon graduating from Scottsdale Culinary Institute in 1997, Chef Dakota Weiss began her career at Coyote Cafe working the Garde Manger & Hot Apps. Then executive chef Jeff Drew, saw promise in Weiss’s skill and promoted her as his sous chef.
A Santa Fean since her family moved to Santa Fe in 1988, Weiss attended Alameda Junior High and Santa Fe High School. She went on to study international business at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces — a turning point in her career options. While working part time at a Las Cruces coffee shop, she realized what she really wanted to study was culinary arts.
Still a fledging in the culinary world, and anxious to try her wings after her time at Coyote Cafe, Weiss went on to work at the Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas, under Chef Dean Fearing. She next went on to Atlanta, which eventually brought her to Chef Bruno Menard, at the 5-stars and 5-diamonds Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton Buckhead in Atlanta, Georgia.
Eventually, Weiss was promoted to executive chef at Jer-ne at the Ritz-Carlton, Marina Del Rey. There, she was named “Best New Chef” by Angeleno magazine in 2006. Weiss became a tour-de-force in the Los Angeles’ culinary community.
In 2011, Dakota appeared on Bravo’s “Top Chef Texas,” while that same year she joined the W Los Angeles as Executive Chef. In 2013 she opened Dakota’s POP Parlor, her own brand of innovative gourmet popcorn—recognized by Food Network as one of the “Top 30 Popcorns to Try in America” and CBS Los Angeles as “Best Popcorn in LA.”
Now in full flight, Weiss became the consulting chef and part owner of Choice Hospitality’s Sweetfin Poke, a fast-casual concept serving California-inspired Hawaiian soul food that opened in April of 2015 in Santa Monica.
Their rapid expansion of twelve locations across Southern California, including San Diego, makes Weiss one of the most commercially successful women-owned restaurateurs in Southern California.
When not in a kitchen, Weiss has been involved in many charitable organizations, including No Kid Hungry which works to end childhood hunger in America, She served as Chef Co-Chair at Taste of the Nation for No Kid Hungry in Los Angeles in 2017 and 2018.
Her maiden flight that began at Coyote Cafe in 1997, brought her to prestigious positions in noted restaurants from Dallas, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Sarasota, Shanghai, and Los Angeles. She’s learned the art of cuisine from star chefs and restaurateurs. When asked why she has returned to her Santa Fe nest after 24 years of exploring the culinary arts of this nation, she said, “Not only does my family remain in Santa Fe, I’m honored to both return to my Coyote Cafe roots, and take on the role of executive chef at this iconic restaurant.”