Biga on the Banks
Bruce Auden, born in North London, has a classical background in the culinary arts. At the age of 17, he moved to the United States to join a management training program at the prestigious Northmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Illinois. In 1977, Auden joined Chicago’s award-winning restaurant Crickets, managed by the famed “21” of New York. During his six years there, he established a reputation for consistently well-executed and innovative menus.
Auden later became Chef de Cuisine for “exposure,” Dallas’ chic club/restaurant, and Charley’s 517 restaurant and wine cellar in Houston, where he became known for his adventuresome, original and creative menus. Recognized as one of the early pioneers of Southwestern cuisine, on reviewer wrote that Auden’s artful dishes are “extraordinary creations that play havoc with tradition.”
In 1985, Auden moved to San Antonio to open the Fairmont Hotel’s restaurant, Polo’s, where he earned national prominence for his unique cuisine. During his tenure at Polo’s, he was named one of 1988’s “Ten Best New Chefs in America” in Food and Wine Magazine and in 1991 Auden earned Polo’s a coveted spot on Esquire Magazine’s “Best Bars and Restaurants” list.
In 1991, Auden left Polo’s to open Restaurant Biga and LocuStreet Bakery, which allowed him to further cultivate his own brand of cuisine in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. In its first year, Biga made Esquire’s “Best Bars and Restaurants” list and Nation’s Restaurant News’ “Fine Dining Hall of Fame’ for 1996.
After eight years, Biga outgrew its space, and Auden, along with partners Pete Selig, Perny Shea, and Don Thomas, developed plans to open a new venue of fine dining with a Texas accent for Biga in March 2000. Located in the heart of downtown on the Paseo del Rio – San Antonio’s famous River Walk – the new Biga continues to serve Auden’s signature contemporary American dishes of aged beef, lamb, game and fresh Gulf seafood, all influenced by the exotic flavors of the cuisines of Mexico and Asia with the wit and flair of his native England. The restaurant is open for dinner nightly and offers spectacular river view private catering facilities for groups of up to 200.