Making Delicious Waves at The Galley Bistro and Bakeshop

Making Delicious Waves at The Galley Bistro and Bakeshop

The dynamic quartet behind U.S.S. Chefs introduces a new dining concept to the Coastal Bend.

lunch offerings at The Galley Bistro and Bakeshop

Photography by Rachel Benavides

Can you create the perfect restaurant? The answer from four talented chef-partners is a resounding “YES!” The Galley Bistro and Bakeshop checks all the boxes: a seasonal menu featuring locally sourced ingredients, palate-pleasing daily specials and thoughtfully curated coffee and desserts. 

Diving into The Galley feels like exploring an underwater den for creatives. Watery-hued paintings from a rotation of local artists like Kaleigh Glover and Teresa Robertson adorn alabaster walls. In the hull, chefs, cooks and servers gracefully flit in and around ovens and cooktops. A helm decorated with a whisk and rolling pin hangs near the door, proclaiming “U.S.S. Chefs.”

Entrance of The Galley Bistro and Bakeshop
Photography by Rachel Benavides

This dynamic foursome shares a long history as friends and colleagues. Chef Dana Demers and Chefs Adrienne and Fernando Cardenas met in culinary school over a decade ago. With resumes that include head chef roles at Flint Hills, Compass Group Exxon-Mobil and Whataburger Field, their paths converged at Schlitterbahn under Head Chef Zelina Rodriguez. Years passed and the couples pursued their own passions — Rodriguez and Demers formed a catering company, Saltwater Chefs, and the Cardenases owned a successful cottage bakery, Sweet Chefs. 

The group realized if they combined their concepts they could offer all-inclusive catering services that cover everything from the hors d’oeuvres to the wedding cake. The United Sweet and Salty (U.S.S.) Chefs was born.

Now equal partners, the two couples rented a space in the International Seamen’s Center and offered takeaway and dine-in lunches. They outgrew their space quickly and due to customer demand, rented a large space that could accommodate their lineup of culinary services. The Galley hosts tastings before large catered events, themed brunches and cooking classes for all ages.

fried cauliflower with spicy ranch from The Galley Bistro and Bakeshop
Crispy cauliflower with spicy ranch from The Galley | Photography by Rachel Benavides

No doubt, U.S.S. Chefs run a tight ship. Chef Adrienne “Adie” Cardenas hand-forms hoagie buns for the lunch special, Italian Grinders. Chef Rodriguez spoons large portions of steaming lasagna for a catering order. Chefs Demers and Fernando Cardenas work quickly, calling out orders to assemble crispy cauliflower with spicy ranch and pumpkin risotto for a group of brunching ladies. 

Chef Rodriguez sums it up: “The key for me is making everything fresh and delicious.” From Adrienne Cardenas’ scratch-made biscuits and Rodriguez’s creamy King Ranch Casserole Soup, to Demers’ exotic game prep for high-end ranches and Fernando Cardenas’ commitment to using quality ingredients, there is nothing USS Chefs can’t do, and do well. 

Contact: 924 S. Staples |

Check out the October issue’s Drink, Siren’s Call Winery.