The FunkZone Podcast with Ted Mills

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Syndication

Episode 004: Alvaro Rojas

Welcome back Funketeers! It's hard enough in Santa Barbara to run one restaurant but restauranteur Alvarado Rojas ran up until recently three of Santa Barbara's funnest restaurants: Alcazar on the Mesa, Milk & Honey downtown, and the Bourbon Room out in "No-Leta" the area east of Goleta. The latter he just recently signed over to his partner. All three are warm, cozy gathering places with great cocktails and menus that bop between tapas, hearty main courses, and comfort food like pizza and hamburgers (at Bourbon Room especially.)

In this episode we sat down with Al to talk about his history of creating restaurants in Santa Barbara and his remarkable success rate. After the interview, Al made me a fan-freakin'-tastic duck carnitas slider as a thank you. I can't send that out to our listeners, but I can include his father's recipe for carnitas below.

Topics include:

* A rundown of Al’s current businesses
* His recent Europe trip, including thoughts on Berlin, the Latin Quarter in Paris, and his favorite meal of the trip
* Growing up son of Mexican immigrants in Palo Alto
* His dad’s history of cooking and comfort food
* How carnitas is the cousin to duck confit
* Learning the kitchen at his dad’s restaurant
* Living in Isla Vista
* Dropping out and opening his first restaurant in Santa Barbara
* The learning curve as a young restauranteur
* What closed his first business, Chilangos
* What led to his next tapas-based restaurant
* What he learned about tapas only by going to Spain
* The joy of Spanish culture
* How the more restaurants you open, the more intimidating
* The major changes in Santa Barbara’s culinary scene since Chilangos
* The secret skills of Dutch Garden’s owner
* What will be trendy in five years in Santa Barbara
* Why restaurants fail and why you shouldn’t trace trends
* The reasons behind the wood-fire pizza glut in SB
* Where Al funnels his creativity and dancing salsa
* The brief reign of LOFT in the FunkZone
* Al recommends his menu favorites

Direct download: Episode_004_Alvaro_Rojas.mp3
Category:creativity -- posted at: 9:11pm PDT