Meet Your Host

Richard Spera

In 1996 I left New York City in search of adventure, big skies, bigger perspectives and an artful life. Happily, I discovered Taos. In the years since, I have discovered the secret to living an artisan life. Casa Gallina is the fruit of this discovery.

— Richard Spera

The seeds for Casa Gallina, and my life in service and hospitality were planted years ago in my mother’s Italian kitchen, helping her and learning from her great gifts of cooking and entertaining.

After graduating from Cornell University’s Hotel and Restaurant School, I landed a dream job managing a group of successful Italian restaurants in Manhattan. The hospitality business was a perfect fit for me to pour my heart, soul and life’s work into. The twelve years that I worked under a master restaurateur as his “right hand man”, opening and running five truly beautiful restaurants, showed me that I had a gift to share and that there was more waiting for me to discover.

This inkling led me to Taos and, to my surprise, Massage School where I learned a whole new and more intimate version of the hospitality (nurturing) business. I practiced massage here in Taos for fourteen years, but have since stopped my massage practice to make more space in my life for nurturing my guests at Casa Gallina, my gardens, my animals, my family and myself.

I have discovered a new art and practice in my life: The Argentine Tango. This deeply beautiful dance has become my passion. I have learned more about my body and myself in the years that I’ve been dancing than I have in all the other body-oriented practices I’ve done previously. And now that I have a dance studio here at Casa Gallina, I would love to dance a “tanda” with those of you who dance tango, or would love to introduce those of you who are curious about it, to this soulful dance!

My amazing husband, Matt, is a working artist, architect, and the director of a vibrant Taos art festival called The Paseo. He endlessly and lovingly challenges us, supports us and helps us to live an artisan life every day.

Daily, I open the doors to Casa Gallina in my continuing dedication to serving, nurturing, creating beauty and living an artful life. Join me!

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