In just over two years since it’s been open Secreto has changed management three times. Now, bringing the experience of Caffe Boa to Chandler Boulevard, newly appointed general manager Jamie Santoro hopes the third time is a charm.

“We are livening Secreto up,” Santoro said. “We’re taking a really fun South American, Southwestern, New Mexican concept and just getting more inspired with it. We’re bringing in more fresh food, using more local products and local vendors. We’re giving back to the community as much as we can. We’ve got a lot of new and exciting things going on here.”

Santoro was formerly the executive chef of that Italian Place. When it closed she went to work for Caffe Boa. Now Caffe Boa has been offered this venture, to take over management of Secreto, and Santoro has been asked to take the experience and community feel of Caffe Boa and infuse it into a completely different type of cuisine.

“It’s the most amazing feeling,” Santoro said. “Anyone who knows me in this community knows this is not my cuisine. I am the pasta lady. I do everything and anything Italian. Coming in here and working with our new chef and just learning about peppers and chilies and a cuisine I’m not familiar with has been an amazing experience for me. We’re coming up with new innovative, wonderful dishes every day. Being able to stay in Ahwatukee is the best part of the job.”

Many of the original recipes will be kept the same, but Santoro said they plan to use a lot more fresh ingredients and have six or seven different specials each night. Santoro hopes Ahwatukee Foothills residents will choose Secreto to try something different.

“You can get an enchilada anywhere and that’s not what I want this place to be,” Santoro said. “I want this to be something special, something different. We are doing everything we can to stand out. I want people to come in and learn about different foods and wines and different parts of the world. It’s all about building your pallet and becoming a foodie. This cuisine is new to me so I want to learn it together.”

On top of menu changes Santoro hopes to build an outdoor patio onto the building and be able to host live music on the weekends and for special events. Their next special event will be an Easter Brunch on April 8.

Secreto is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, beginning at 11 a.m. Their website,, is still being remodeled. To keep up with new changes Santoro recommends stopping in, at 4232 E. Chandler Blvd., Suite 24, and adding your name to their email list or finding them on Facebook. The restaurant can also be reached by phone at (480) 706-2200.

Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or

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