CORRALES – Corrales Cajun Creole Bistro, or C3’s Bistro, recently opened its doors to serve the community and help its employees prosper.
Owner Aaron Hundley and his business partner, Julian Maestas, opened the bistro, on Corrales Road, in September. The restaurant’s walls are decorated with art from local artists and have a New Orleans French Quarter theme.
Hundley and Maestas try to order from local vendors as much as they can to help contribute to the community, Hundley said. Hundley hopes to feature jazz musicians in the restaurant to show off talent in the area, he said.
The vision is to create a work culture surrounded by family and growth, he said. Hundley’s wife and kids have been a pillar in making C3’s Bistro come to fruition, Hundley said. Being a restaurateur allows him to teach his kids about hard work, while being a provider and present in his family’s life, Hundley said.
Hundley said he also wouldn’t get very far without his business partner and C3’s chef, Maestas.
“My biggest passion is food, and it is pretty much the only thing I know how to do,” Maestas said.
Developing the Cajun-Creole menu was all about flavor and experimenting, he said.
“Food brings people together, and when people enjoy that bite, that is what makes me happy. And that is what pushes me to be better,” he said.
Maestas started his career as a line cook at 14. About 22 years later, he is creating a menu with the goal to create something unique to the restaurant.
“Take the French toast; I didn’t want to do a regular French toast,” he said.
For the French toast, Maestas slices a baguette and dips it into a special batter. At the time he was creating this dish, the restaurant’s flat top grill wasn’t working, so Maestas used the beignet fryer to cook the French toast, he said.
“And it was just like, ‘That works 10 times better,'” Maestas said. “We had to adapt and change, and that is a lot like my partnership (with Hundley).”
The menu will always stay fresh at the bistro, he said. Maestas is excited to add family-style meals, like jambalaya.He said if there is ever an item taken off the menu, and he still has the ingredients for the dish, he will cook it for a customer.
“We will have that secret menu style,” Maestas said. “Because we are here to serve the public, and that is our biggest thing, is service.”
In addition to C3’s Bistro, they own P’tit Louis Bistro in Nob Hill. The pair hopes to open more restaurants and grow organically into areas like Rio Rancho, Hundley said.
“If the Lord blesses and continues to have his hand on us, this will be one of a couple more locations and concepts,” he said.
Hundley said he is a man of faith and dedicates his business and success to the Lord. He takes this mindset into all aspects of his life and work ethic, he said.
“We are looking to serve, more than be served. Our goal is to bring in and give people opportunity to hone their skills in the kitchen and hone their skills in the customer service realm. Our cultural value is generosity and grace,” he said.
For more information, search C3’s Bistro on Facebook to view their page or call 398-9449.