Taco Bamba Taqueria
Chef & Owner
Chef Victor Albisu has more than a decade of experience in fine dining and upscale French, American and Latin American restaurants. He combines his culinary education with his Latin American heritage to bring a unique style of cuisine to his restaurant concepts Del Campo and Taco Bamba.
In 2015, Albisu was named Chef of the Year by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW). He was also selected as a semifinalist for the Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic category of the 2016 James Beard Foundation Awards.
Albisu’s first restaurant, Del Campo is an upscale South American grill in the Penn Quarter neighborhood of Washington, D.C. In 2013, it was named a Best New Restaurant by Esquire magazine. In 2014, RAMW nominated Del Campo for Best New Restaurant. That same year, Washingtonian magazine called Del Campo “Washington’s best steakhouse.”
Albisu also owns Taco Bamba, a takeout taqueria with locations in Falls Church, VA and Vienna, VA. Taco Bamba reflects his love of Mexican cooking as well as his Cuban and Peruvian roots. The original location in Falls Church operates next to Plaza Latina, a Latin market owned by Albisu’s mother. A third location will open in Springfield, VA in 2017.
Before pursing independent ventures, Albisu served as executive chef of BLT Steak in downtown D.C. While at the helm, Albisu cooked for President and Mrs. Obama and led the restaurant to earn several accolades, including RAMW's Power Spot of the Year in 2012.
Outside the kitchen, Albisu is a member of the American Chef Corps, a network of chefs who serve as resources to the Department of State.Albisu also serves on the Chef Council for Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation annual D.C. fundraiser, and he supports The First Lady’sLet’s Move initiative to end childhood hunger and improve food quality in schools across the United States. In 2015, Albisu competed on Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay and bested the host and grill master with his signature dish, steak & eggs. Albisu has appeared as a guest judge on Telemundo’s Top Chef Estrellas and the FOX TV series Hell’s Kitchen.
Albisu is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu School in Paris. His professional culinary journey included Michelin three-star restaurant L’Arpege in Paris, as well as Ceiba, Marcel’s, and Ardeo and Bardeo all in Washington, D.C.
Albisu is fluent in English, Spanish and French, and he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and International Relations from George Mason University. He resides in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons.
Chef de Cuisine
Tom Hall, chef de cuisine at Taco Bamba, works with chef/owner Victor Albisu to realize the Falls Church, VA tacqueria’s menu of authentic and chef-driven Mexican street food. Before taking charge of the kitchen at Taco Bamba, Hall worked with chef Albisu at Del Campo, the upscale South American grill in Washington, D.C. focusing on the cuisines of Argentina, Uruguay and Peru. Prior to his work there, Hall cooked in the kitchens at a number of high profile D.C. restaurants, including 901 Restaurant and Bar, Ten Penh, DC Coast, Acadiana and Ceiba.
Chef Hall is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, and resides in College Park, Md.
Christopher Pena is the sous chef at Taco Bamba Vienna, the second location of Victor Albisu's counter-service Mexican street food restaurant.
Prior to joining the Taco Bamba team, Christopher was tournant cook at Café Boulud, Chef Daniel Boulud's classic French restaurant in The Surrey hotel in NYC. Christopher also served as executive sous chef at Lexington Brass and before that was chef de partie at Alex Atala's 2 Michelin star restaurant D.O.M.
Christopher earned his hospitality associates diploma in culinary arts from Le Cordon Bleu.