I must admit I wasn't blown away the first time I visited Anepalco's Cafe in Orange--found the chilaquiles a bit too exotic. But I'm always man enough to admit when I was wrong, and I've more than made up my initial lukewarm review of Anepalco's by raining it much love over the past year, not out of some sense of obligation, of course, but because they deserve it. Chef Danny Godinez continues to craft high-quality Mexican AND French dishes, traditional in taste but with the touches one would expect of someone who has worked at Stonehill Tavern, Charlie Palmer's and other high-end restaurants.
And now, the questions--that is, after the jump!
What are six words to describe your food?
Elegant, modern, tasty, passion, art, love...
What are ten words to describe you?
Passionate, professional, strict, hard-worker, persevere-er, bold, adventurous, creative, sociable, visionary.
Your best recent food find:
Filet Mignon with a Coffee Bourbon Sauce
Most undervalued ingredient:
Rules of conduct in your kitchens:
They need to have discipline, be clean, and be very professional at work.
One food you detest:
One food you can't live without:
Culinarily speaking, Orange County has the best:
Beef and Seafood.
What fast food do you admit to eating?
Best culinary tip for the home cook:
Put the onion in the freezer for about 20 minutes, so they don't make you cry.
Downtown Santa Ana
If you could cook for one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
My grandmother, because she is one of my inspiration for cooking.
Favorite celebrity chef:
Ferrán Adria, El Bulli's Chef.
Celebrity chef who should shut up:
Proudest moment as a chef/restaurant owner:
Have the recognition and respect from my customers.
Favorite music to cook by:
Best food city in America:
Favorite restaurant in America:
Tres Generaciones, in Oaxaca, Mexico.
What you'd like to see more in Orange County from a culinary standpoint:
More originality and creativity.
What show would you pitch to the Food Network?
Weirdest thing you've ever eaten, and describe the flavors:
Iguana, taste like chicken.
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You're making an omelet. What's in it?
Spinach, roasted tomatoes, red onion, mushrooms, pesto sauce and panela cheese.
You're at the market. What do you buy two of?
Weirdest customer request:
Anepalco's Cafe, 415 S. Main St., Orange, (714) 771-2333; www.anepalcoscafe.com.