Award-winning Café Allegro at MIM serves a changing menu of great-tasting foods prepared from scratch, using fresh, local ingredients. Stations feature global cuisine, local and regional dishes, grilled specialties, freshly made soups and salads, and delicious desserts. The casual self-serve environment provides a unique museum dining experience, boasting dishes alive with flavor and nutrition. Café Allegro also offers vegetarian, vegan, international, and kid-friendly options, appealing to a wide variety of tastes.
MIM has partnered with Bon Appétit Management Company for our Café and catering services. Taking its role in the community seriously, Bon Appétit makes socially responsible purchasing decisions and uses local, organic produce whenever possible. In an extension of the worldview exhibited throughout the museum’s galleries, Café Allegro takes a comprehensive view of wellness, believing that environment, community, and a creative menu can work together to support each other and contribute to the well-being and enjoyment of our guests.
Chris Lenza discovered his love of food at a very young age. A native of the suburbs of Philadelphia, with one grandfather a farmer and another a chef, Lenza learned that it is just as important to know where food comes from and how it is grown as it is to be able to creatively and artistically present beautiful dishes. Growing up around farms and restaurants led Lenza to New York City, where he graduated from the French Culinary Institute in 2004. His education, apprenticeship in Italy working on organic farms and in fine-dining restaurants, and experience in high-profile kitchens in New Orleans, Philadelphia, and New York fueled Lenza’s talent for adaptable, original, sustainable, and high-end culinary execution.
In search of a new challenge, Lenza found himself in Phoenix where he worked at Kai, Arizona’s only Five-Star, Five-Diamond restaurant. Today, as the executive chef at Café Allegro, Lenza finds inspiration working with local farmers to create cuisine that is alive in color, flavor, and nutrients. His highly creative, globally focused menus highlight Arizona’s local farmers and products in such a way as to ensure each product’s integrity and accessibility. Lenza is also a first-tier sommelier who can assist in expertly pairing wines with any catered menu.