• Chilaquiles haystack
  • Benedict flight
  • Mofungo


Latin Fusion

About us

“Travieso”, translating from Spanish to mean “Mischievous”, is the third entity in the Trouble Makers’ Restaurant Group. A concept which encompasses both Latin American and American cuisines, the heart of Travieso lies in the inescapable need to tell our stories through the medium of food. These stories are represented in the carefully selected ingredients, flavors, techniques, and presentations learned throughout the various places which shaped our understanding of both the craft of hospitality and ourselves.

The Trouble Makers' Story

Trouble Makers' started, like most restaurants, as a dream. Our specific dream was shared between two men: Martin Magaña and Arnuflo Gonzales, who would later become the Co-Executive Chefs of the Trouble Makers' Restaurant Group. Their shared dream was simple: serve food reminiscent of the flavors and textures of their lived experiences, thus creating meaningful, vibrant, and delicious plates. In 2021, they partnered with Dillon Knight to create Trouble Makers' Restaurant Group, and dubbed their fare "Mad Mexican" cuisine.

Martin Magana

Martin Magaña
Co-Founder, Co-Executive Chef

Dillon Knight

Dillon Knight

Arnie Gonzales

Arnie Gonzales
Co-Founder, Co-Executive Chef

The Origins

"The restaurant kitchen may indeed be the last, glorious meritocracy — where anybody with the skills and the heart is welcomed."

Anthony Bourdain

Born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico, Magaña worked towards his Accounting degree throughout early adulthood, all while quietly harboring a dream much more expansive and exhilarating: life in the United States. After earning his Accounting degree in Mexico City and working for a short time in both a corporate and small business setting, Magaña decided it was time to take the leap. He contacted his cousin, who was living in Milwaukee at the time, and started the immigration process, finally allowing his dream to guide his steps. After a somewhat rocky journey to Milwaukee, including a short stay in Texas, and Magaña’s Milwaukee contact moving out of state during Magaña’s travel time, he finally made it to the 414, and immediately started working. Having little experience with the English language, and absolutely no support system, Magaña had no choice but to pour his heart into the professional kitchen in which he found himself.

Native to Milwaukee, Gonzales’ childhood was characterized by his mother’s catering business. He spent hours in the kitchen, watching her create the beautifully traditional Mexican cuisine of her childhood. While he saw first hand the heart his mother poured into her craft, he was also privy to the level of personal sacrifice necessary to run a successful business in the food service industry. For this reason alone, Gonzales opted for a 9-5 job in the corporate banking world. His corporate career was short lived; after losing what would be his last banking job, he opted for the familiar setting of the professional kitchen to continue to put food on his table.

Knight’s culinary origins can only be described as accidental. Having been raised in family with multigenerational, advanced degrees, an undergraduate degree was expected of him. When Knight shared his intention to forego college all together, his mother secured him a minimum wage, dishwashing job. Part in love and part in concern, she anticipated the demands of the kitchen to steer Knight towards university. Only, her plan backfired: Knight fell in love with the chaotic rhythm, the unparalleled stress, and the feeling of confidence inherent in the job requirements of a professional kitchen staff. He continued to move up the culinary ladder, from dishwasher to line cook, and eventually began to dream of owning and operating his own restaurant.

The Grind

"The dining room is your classroom."

David Chang

Throughout the years, all three men simultaneously and independently worked their way up the culinary hierarchy.

Magaña landed a job at Tess, located on Milwaukee’s East Side, where he was the Executive Chef for 12 years. During that time, he also spearheaded the opening and operation of Frida, a Tess sister business located inside the Cross Roads Collective on Milwaukee’s East Side. In 2020, Magaña was awarded Milwaukee’s prestigious 40 Under 40 Award for his work at Frida. Unfortunately, due the COVID-19 Pandemic, Frida closed on the heels Magaña’s career achievement.

Gonzales moved his way through the ranks of the professional kitchen at The Milwaukee Steak House, hired on as a dishwasher and eventually taking the role of Sous Chef. It was here, when Gonzales was progressing from Line Cook to Sous Chef, that the his path first crossed with Knight’s. The dishwashing job Knight’s mother had secured him was at The Milwaukee Steak House, under the direction of Gonzales. Gonzales, always hungry for more experience, took a position at Crazy Water after his stint at The Milwaukee Steak House, and cites his time under Chef Peggy as “instrumental” to his career development. It was his time studying under Chef Peggy that set him up for success at BlackSheep, where he took the Executive Chef position during their opening. After solidifying his position as a Chef in the city, Gonzales shifted his career focus to catering, and sat at the helm of many catering operations in Milwaukee, including: The Milwaukee Art Museum, The Bartolotta Group, The Ambassador Hotel, and Good City Brewing.

The Collision

"The average millionaire is only the average dishwasher dressed in a new suit."

George Orwell

The 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic hit the industry hard, and in efforts to build and support each other, Magaña partnered with other Milwaukee based Latino Chefs to create “Chefs Latinos Wisconsin”. It was through this network that Magaña and Gonzales first met and built the foundation of what is now known as Trouble Makers’ Restaurant Group.

In the early months of 2021, Adrienne Pierluissi, Owner of The Sugar Maple located in Bay View, Wisconsin, reached out to Magaña and Gonzales about the potential of hosting a series of Pop Up Dinners to drive business to The Sugar Maple, while simultaneously offering exposure to Magaña and Gonzales’ business in the works, at that time only referred to as “Trouble Makers’”. The two were elated with the offer, and used what little free time both full-time Chefs had to create pairing menus for Adrienne, combining the flavors, ingredients, textures, and presentations of their lived culinary careers to create dishes that only The Trouble Makers’ could.

It was at one of these early Pop Up Dinners Knight came back into the fold. While Knight and Gonzales had remained in contact throughout the years, Knight had chosen to pursue a legal career full time, working for his family’s law firm. While the work was fulfilling, Knight still dreamed of owning a restaurant or a restaurant group. Upon reconnecting with Gonzales, and meeting Magaña, selling Knight on the concept was simple. Thus, the third and final Trouble Maker joined the team, and Trouble Makers’ Restaurant Group was official.

The Dream come True

"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."

Maya Angelou

After officially launching “Trouble Makers’ Cocina”, the pieces quickly started falling into place. May 5, 2022 marks the start of The Trouble Makers’ first summer with their Mobile Kitchen, a dream come true for all three Trouble Makers’. Plates — or more, disposable boats—reminiscent of Gonzales’ early memories in his mother’s kitchen, and Magaña’s childhood in Mexico City can be found all over Milwaukee and the surrounding areas.

In December of 2022, Central Waters Brewing approached Trouble Makers’ Cocina about filling a vacancy in their downtown taproom’s kitchen, which operates seven days a week. The spot inside Central Waters Downtown is an extension of the Mobile Kitchen, with an even wider audience to showcase unique flavor pairings and cooking techniques of The Trouble Makers’ history.

In March of 2023, Berg Management, having recently taken ownership of The Clarke Hotel in Waukesha, Wisconsin, approached The Trouble Makers’ Restaurant Group regarding the restaurant space located on the first floor of the hotel. Aptly named “Travieso”, which harks back to the three Trouble Makers' at the heart of the operation, the restaurant fuses the supper club feel from which Knight and Gonzales made their bones with the flavors, textures, ingredients, and presentations of Magaña’s upbringing. It is on the plates served at Travieso the story of The Trouble Makers’ shines brightest. Under the direction of Magaña, the Travieso experience is guaranteed to be like no other.