Show 437, August 7, 2021: Hany Ali, Executive Chef, Europa Village Wineries and Resort Part One

Hany Ali of Europa Village

The well-traveled Hany Ali is the executive chef of Europa Village Wineries and Resort in the heart of the Temecula Valley wine country. His current primary area of responsibility (as the Resort expands with Italian and French winery estates in development) is overseeing the Spanish-accented cuisine at Bolero Restaurante & Cantina at Bolero at Europa Village as well as all the on-site catering and special events. Bolero Restaurante serves Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner daily as well as Sunday Brunch.

“Bolero Restaurante takes the guest on a culinary journey throughout the country of Spain—from the humble farm-to-table cuisines of Asturia, to the majesty of modern interpretations coming from San Sebastian or Barcelona. The menus celebrate the centuries-old tradition of dining and drinking together in Tapas style. Whether it is seafood, steak, roasted vegetables, olives, or the finest cheeses and charcuteries in Europe, the meal is shared by all.”

“Born and raised in Egypt, Chef Hany Ali had a passion for the culinary arts at an early age. While Chef Hany was born in Cairo, Egypt, he was raised in a coastal resort city named Hurghada. Hurghada, is best known for its beautiful white sand beaches, fresh seafood, and one of the most popular vacation spots with Europeans. It was an inspiration to a young Hany.”

“After graduation from the International Culinary Institute in Egypt, Chef Hany decided to travel through Europe and Asia exposing his palate to as many different types of cuisines as possible. This allowed him to broaden his talents as a chef and gave him the experience and knowledge needed to begin his career.”

“After over 13 years in the most highly regarded hotels and restaurants in the U.S. Hany found a home in the Temecula Valley Wine Country as the Executive Chef leading the culinary team at Ponte Winery. With a love for the valley, a deep appreciation for each ingredient, and a thirst for unique and thoughtful wine, he hoped his passion was palpable in every plate, sip and bite.”

“With all his many accomplishments, experiences, and rave reviews, Europa Village Wineries and Resort are pleased to have Chef Hany Ali as their Executive Chef and being part of a “food culture that respects local produce, farmers and ranchers.” He showcases that back-to-the-land reverence with farm-fresh valley produce — with some vegetables and herbs harvested just moments beforehand in the kitchen garden out back. But while the sourcing may be local, Chef Hany’s influences are global, resulting in flavorful, inventive border-crossing cuisine. He provides guests with the exceptional service, dedication, and immense love and passion for food that they have come to expect from Europa Village.”

We entice Chef Hany away from his busy kitchens for a chat.

Play

Show 437, August 7, 2021: Hany Ali, Executive Chef, Europa Village Wineries and Resort Part Two

Hany Ali of Europa Village

The well-traveled Hany Ali is the executive chef of Europa Village Wineries and Resort in the heart of the Temecula Valley wine country. His current primary area of responsibility (as the Resort expands with Italian and French winery estates in development) is overseeing the Spanish-accented cuisine at Bolero Restaurante & Cantina at Bolero at Europa Village as well as all the on-site catering and special events. Bolero Restaurante serves Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner daily as well as Sunday Brunch.

“Bolero Restaurante takes the guest on a culinary journey throughout the country of Spain—from the humble farm-to-table cuisines of Asturia, to the majesty of modern interpretations coming from San Sebastian or Barcelona. The menus celebrate the centuries-old tradition of dining and drinking together in Tapas style. Whether it is seafood, steak, roasted vegetables, olives, or the finest cheeses and charcuteries in Europe, the meal is shared by all.”

“Born and raised in Egypt, Chef Hany Ali had a passion for the culinary arts at an early age. While Chef Hany was born in Cairo, Egypt, he was raised in a coastal resort city named Hurghada. Hurghada, is best known for its beautiful white sand beaches, fresh seafood, and one of the most popular vacation spots with Europeans. It was an inspiration to a young Hany.”

“After graduation from the International Culinary Institute in Egypt, Chef Hany decided to travel through Europe and Asia exposing his palate to as many different types of cuisines as possible. This allowed him to broaden his talents as a chef and gave him the experience and knowledge needed to begin his career.”

“After over 13 years in the most highly regarded hotels and restaurants in the U.S. Hany found a home in the Temecula Valley Wine Country as the Executive Chef leading the culinary team at Ponte Winery. With a love for the valley, a deep appreciation for each ingredient, and a thirst for unique and thoughtful wine, he hoped his passion was palpable in every plate, sip and bite.”

“With all his many accomplishments, experiences, and rave reviews, Europa Village Wineries and Resort are pleased to have Chef Hany Ali as their Executive Chef and being part of a “food culture that respects local produce, farmers and ranchers.” He showcases that back-to-the-land reverence with farm-fresh valley produce — with some vegetables and herbs harvested just moments beforehand in the kitchen garden out back. But while the sourcing may be local, Chef Hany’s influences are global, resulting in flavorful, inventive border-crossing cuisine. He provides guests with the exceptional service, dedication, and immense love and passion for food that they have come to expect from Europa Village.”

Chef Hany takes a break from his busy kitchens and rejoins us.

Play

Show 427, May 29, 2021: Chef /Proprietor Sandra Cordero, Gasolina Café, Woodland Hills Part One

Sandra Cordero

Gasolina Café launched in 2015 on Ventura Blvd. in Woodland Hills under the direction of Chef/Proprietor Sandra Cordero. It’s Spanish influenced food with a fresh approach. The menu is seasonally driven and ingredients are sustainably raised and grown, and locally sourced. Gasolina Cafe always takes pride in honoring Chef Sandra’s Spanish heritage.” Newly opened for Dinner on Thursday through Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.” Open for Breakfast and Lunch on Wednesday through Sunday. Inside seating is available as well sidewalk patio seating. A convenient parking lot is available behind Gasolina for both day and night parking.

“Gasolina Café is more than a physical space where you can get your belly fed, or your thirst quenched…For us, it’s an extension of a lifestyle as much as anything. In other words, we’re simply looking to be the best at what we do, have a damn good time doing it, and grow our merry band of friends along the way.”

Chef Sandra Cordero joins us paella pan in hand.

Play

Show 427, May 29, 2021: Chef /Proprietor Sandra Cordero, Gasolina Café, Woodland Hills Part Two

Sandra Cordero

Gasolina Café launched in 2015 on Ventura Blvd. in Woodland Hills under the direction of Chef/Proprietor SandraShow 427, May 29, 2021: Chef /Proprietor Sandra Cordero, Gasolina Café, Woodland Hills Part One Cordero. It’s Spanish influenced food with a fresh approach. The menu is seasonally driven and ingredients are sustainably raised and grown, and locally sourced. Gasolina Cafe always takes pride in honoring Chef Sandra’s Spanish heritage.” Newly opened for Dinner on Thursday through Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.” Open for Breakfast and Lunch on Wednesday through Sunday. Inside seating is available as well sidewalk patio seating. A convenient parking lot is available behind Gasolina for both day and night parking.

“Gasolina Café is more than a physical space where you can get your belly fed, or your thirst quenched…For us, it’s an extension of a lifestyle as much as anything. In other words, we’re simply looking to be the best at what we do, have a damn good time doing it, and grow our merry band of friends along the way.”

Chef Sandra Cordero continues with us paella pan in hand.

Play

Show 414, February 27, 2021: Loquita Santa Barbara with General Manager Stephanie Perkins

Stephanie Perkins of Loquita

Loquita in Santa Barbara showcases authentic Spanish food including hot and cold tapas, wood-fired grilled seafood and meats, and seasonal paella. The Mediterranean climate and terroir of Santa Barbara County mirror that of Spain, making the translation of locally sourced produce, meats and seafood an ideal match. The wine list is comprised almost entirely of Spanish wines with exceptional local wines that pair well with the cuisine. Loquita’s cocktail list showcases Spanish vermouths, farmers’ market Sangria, hand-crafted cocktails and a rotating selection of Spain’s king of cocktails, the Gin Tonic.” 

A favorite Tapa is the Almejas. It’s little neck clams with cantimpalo chorizo, salsa verde, can sumoi with grilled ciabatta.

Loquita has reopened for socially distanced patio and outdoor dining nightly at 5:00 p.m. and for takeaway. 

General Manager Stephanie Perkins is our amiable guide.

Play

Show 358, February 2, 2020: Melting Pot Food Tours Part Two

Scalia Sisters of Melting Pot Food ToursOne of the best ways to come to know a city is through its food. When we go to a new city we’ve found our best insiders introduction is by partaking of a highly regarded, local food walking tour. One of the premier food walking tour operators locally is the long-established Melting Pot Food Tours. The principals are Lisa and Diane Scalia (sisters.) The Scalias hospitably continue the background tour for us.

One of Melting Pot’s proprietary tours is the La Espanola Meats VIP Tour and Paella Lunch. This tour, dining and shopping experience is produced by Melting Pot Food Tours in cooperation with the Dona Juana family of La Espanola Meats in Harbor City, CA. “Our two-generation family of hosts are the premier purveyors of fine, authentic Spanish charcuterie, cheeses, wines, and a myriad of imported specialties.”

“The experience begins with an exclusive tour of La Espanola’s manufacturing facilities, where premium sausages and cured meats are crafted with recipes procured from Spain’s finest master artisans. Following the tour, a specially-prepared patio lunch of tapas and paella is served with wine, plus homemade churros with dark chocolate dipping sauce.”

Play

Show 134, August 8, 2015: Chef Amar Santana, Broadway by Amar Santana, Laguna Beach Continues

Amar SantanaThe most talked-about restaurant opening of the year in Orange County is Amar Santana’s Vaca in Costa Mesa. It’s possibly his take on either a Spanish tapas spot or Spanish steakhouse. Details have been securely under wraps. We’re sure Chef Amar has spent a lot of time in Spain studying the cuisine.

We’ll find out a lot more with Chef Amar Santana…

Chef Amar shares that Vaca is a hybrid concept. It will be an authentic Spanish tapas restaurant and a steakhouse with premium, dry-aged beef from around the world cooked on a wood-burning grill. A dry-aging room will be a feature of Vaca. With a bit of luck it looks like a possible late November opening if all goes well.

Chef Amar has been running paella specials (4 to 5 styles) at Broadway to get his culinary staff trained for the upcoming Vaca. Some of the team will move over there from Broadway as well as former cooks from Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdales. Large paella pans and small kitchen…

Surprisingly he was disappointed with the paella he sampled in Spain. Chef Amar was far more inspired about what he tasted in Morocco!

Play