Born and raised in Ciudad Evita just outside of Buenos Aires, Diego grew up within a vegetarian/macrobiotic family. At the time, healthy food options were very simply prepared and used few flavors and ingredients—a defining influence on Diego’s now rebelliously vibrant and diverse cuisine.
Originally, Diego sought a career in theater, and at 22 decided to travel throughout Latin America in search of work, ending up in Mexico. To get there, he had eaten his way through Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil, Peru and other countries awakening his curiosity about Latin American food and indigenous ingredients, and decisively making him a performer of culinary art instead of theater art.
In Buenos Aires, Diego began his life in the food world, bartending and managing at Omm Bar, and cooking nightly for his roommates in the community house Los Elephantes. Realizing his potential talent, Diego studied at Buenos Aires Natural Chef during the day, and worked in the kitchen of Dominga at night gaining invaluable technical skills.
In 2003, Diego opened his own vegetarian delivery business for a couple of years. Meanwhile, he met his future wife, Sanra Ritten who was on a study abroad exchange semester from San Diego, and they moved to San Francisco together. There Diego began as a chef-manager at Manzanita, a vegetarian restaurant in Oakland, then worked as Sous Chef at Tamal Tapas Bistro, featuring Latin American style cuisine. Moving along, he learned the art of ceviche working under Chef Moreira Nieto at the Peruvian restaurant, Fresca, and ended his Californian resumé at Millennium, working under Eric Tucker, the guru of vegan cuisine.
A few years later, Diego and Sanra moved back to Buenos Aires wanting to learn and research anything edible the southern continent had to offer. They created Casa Felix in 2007 as a way to use and showcase these ingredients many locals knew little about. The idea was to cook delicious and healthy Latin American meals sustainably and locally while also providing a pescatarian option among the countless meat and potato options of Buenos Aires. Solely by word of mouth, Casa Felix gained popularity, especially among tourists seeking a healthy hiatus from steak and empanadas. After two summers, Diego and Sanra decided to expand beyond their local dinners, and the idea of Colectivo Felix was born, an all encompassing idea including publications, investigations, travel, and a variety of dinner events supporting eco-gastronomic cuisine and culture. Diego and Sanra took Colectivo Felix on the road, following the warm weather to the northern hemisphere and completing their first summer tour in 2008. Since, they have successfully conducted four summer tours in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada during the Argentine winter months.