Five Questions for: ANA QUINCOCES
Celebrity chef Ana Quincoces will open "Skinny Latina Kitchen & Market" with Marcus Lemonis and gives SocialMiami an inside look the road to her culinary successes.
Celebrity chef Ana Quincoces is known for being saucy, as her spicy recipes taking center stage in the national spotlight. She’s a finalist on the Food Network Star and cast member of Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Miami. She’s the creator of Skinny Latina sauces and marinades and the author of several cookbooks. She now adds “restauranteur” to her ever-expanding culinary empire. Slated to open Skinny Latina Kitchen & Market — a quick service restaurant in Miami with business partner Marcus Lemonis from CNBC’s The Profit — Quincoces gives SocialMiami.com an inside look at her Miami inspirations and dreams which have led her to her culinary successes.
Give us the details on how Miami has influenced the décor, vibe and menu of Skinny Latina Kitchen & Market.
So far, I have created a couple of mood boards for the new space, chock full of images that represent the aesthetic of my vision for the restaurant. I am inspired by spice colors like mustards and saffron, and natural materials like wood and brick. I also included the image from the café Meryl Streep owned in the movie It’s Complicated since that space always inspired me to open a restaurant of my own.
How did you and Marcus decide to work together on Skinny Latina Kitchen & Market?
As many people know, I went on Marcus’s show CNBC’s The Profit to help scale my small sauce business Skinny Latina. Marcus did a deep dive into my business and dished out his famous tough love. I want to say that it was my commitment to make Skinny Latina a success coupled with my unwavering and bullheaded work ethic that ultimately convinced him to take me on as a partner. Over time we forged a friendship based on mutual trust and respect which led to the idea of doing something else together that could help bolster the Skinny Latina brand.
I am a big believer in destiny, as cliché as that may sound. During the filming of The Profit, Marcus noticed a picture of my dad behind my desk. He immediately said “I know that guy!”. My dad, who passed over a decade ago from Alzheimer’s was my hero, my everything. As it turns out, the car dealership where my dad worked for decades, Anthony Abraham Chevrolet, belonged to Marcus’s grandfather. As in, Marcus’s grandfather was Anthony Abraham! As a young kid Marcus worked at the dealership as my dad’s porter- bringing the cars around when they were sold. When he shared that story with me, I knew that my dad had in some way put Marcus in my path and that this person would encourage me to think bigger, work harder, and the best mentor I could ever hope for. I’m superstitious and believe in signs, it’s a Cuban thing!
What are some of your favorite restaurants in Miami and why?
I think Mandolin Aegean Bistro in the Design District has the most delicious, authentic Greek food, and even wines from Greece. When you’re there, you feel like you’re in Santorini. It’s a very laid-back atmosphere with both indoor and outdoor seating. The owners are very hands on and it shows.
Stubborn Seed also in Miami Beach is home to Bravo’s Top Chef Season 13 winner Chef Jeremy Ford. Stubborn Seed is just special from the cocktails to the desserts. Jeremy ‘s cuisine never disappoints- he is a Miami treasure and we are lucky to have him.
Li’s Dim Sum is my go-to for takeout. Located inside MKT Kitchen in Coral Gables, Chef Raymond Li’s authentic Chinese dim sum has been handed down for generations and you can definitely taste it.
Sanguich De Miami has one of the best Cuban Sandwiches anywhere. The brainchild of Danny and Rosa- a hardworking Miami couple who make everything from scratch and don’t ever cut corners.
Can you tell us about your Skinny Latina sauces and food products?
There are currently five Skinny Latina sauces including the flagship product-our “magic sauce” Skinny Latina Marinade & Cooking Sauce. We also have a Guava-Fig BBQ Sauce, a Mango Apricot BBQ Sauce, a Tropical Habanero Hot Sauce and our newest addition, our Chimichurri Marinade & Sauce which is one of the only chimichurri sauces on the market made with fresh herbs and pure olive oil.
Using clean, fresh ingredients has always been a priority for me when creating Skinny Latina sauces. I want people to feel empowered in the kitchen to cook delicious and healthy meals for their families. I also want to offer something for everyone, regardless of your particular food preferences or needs. As a result, I have created sauces that are vegan, keto, gluten free, paleo, and low calorie. We are currently available at Walmart, Publix, Whole Foods, Milam’s, and The Fresh Market stores throughout Florida and are growing every day.
Any comments on the new season of the Peacock Network’s The Real Housewives of Miami currently filming in town?
I am so excited for the new season! Lisa Hochstein, Alexia Echevarria, Adriana de Moura, and Larsa Pippen have all been seen filming around town and I understand there are some new ladies joining the cast as well. It’s wonderful for viewers to see the beautiful locations, scenery, style, and cultural diversity that Miami has to offer. I enjoyed my time on the show during Seasons 2 & 3 and am grateful for the experience that led me to other TV shows and appearances as well as a myriad of opportunities in the culinary and business worlds.
Allison Weiss Brady handles marketing for celebrities and non-profits. She is active in many organizations in South Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania including Big Brothers Big Sister, The Community Coalition, Voices Against Brain Cancer, Gene Spotlight, The Barton G. Kids Hear Now Foundation, and one of her family’s foundations Say Yes to Education, which recently partnered with Quincy Jones. Weiss Brady and her husband Chip Brady are members of Art Basel’s Junior Host Committee and Weiss Brady is a member of the Vizcaya Preservation Luncheon Founding Committee. She on the Board of Advisors at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice and she’s the only female on the university’s Football Board. Weiss Brady was also the sole recipient of the University of Pennsylvania’s 2008 Young Alumni of the Year Award, and serves on the Overseers board for the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania.