August 30, 2020
The Real Housewives of Miami Cuban dynamo & Hottest Chef Ana Q: Through COVID Times
The Real Housewives of Miami Cuban dynamo and hottest chef Ana Quincoces is an aspirational and approachable figure Miami has come to adore for quite some time. After twenty years of being a lawyer, Ana wasn’t afraid to switch gears and dive into something she really loved, the culinary scene. She is not only recognized in Miami as one of the cast members of Bravo’s Real Housewives of Miami, but also her very own growing line of food products, Skinny Latina. Being the busy bee that she is so used to being, we wanted to see how she (like the rest of us) had to switch things up during COVID times.
Ana you wear many hats. You’re a chef, a tv personality and an entrepreneur. Any of these hats you have enjoyed wearing the most?
What I love most about my work and what frustrates me most about my work is all the different hats that I get to wear. There is never a dull moment and I love having so many creative outlets. But from time to time all these things come together at the same time and deadlines bottleneck and multitasking feels like an extreme sport. I don’t know that I can identify a favorite. They all bring me a lot of joy and occasionally a lot of angst.
Growing up, did you always want to be in the public eye?
Growing up I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer. Reinventing myself into a chef, TV personality, author and entrepreneur was definitely not part of the plan. But I’m a big believer in evolving. If I’m not in a state of evolution, I feel stagnant and that doesn’t work for me.
What were COVID times like for you? Were you cooking up a storm?
The pandemic still seems surreal. I am fortunate that I can run my business from home for the most part. But many aspects of what I do have been curtailed. I definitely did a lot of cooking and shared many recipes with my followers. I also made an effort to help those with limited pantry items to make tasty meals for their families. I also found a way to help raise some money for our healthcare workers and first responders with my Real Housewives Reunion Dress auction. I was very happy that so many ladies across the franchise participated and that the auction was a great success.
Was there anything in particular you were missing the most during these times?
Definitely dining out at restaurants and real human contact. My book club, my dinner parties, even grabbing coffee with a friend has become a risky endeavor. For many, this was a time to catch up on things, bond with the family or simply take time for self care.
Anything you got to do during quarantine that you kept
putting off before?
Yes! I organized my closet. A couple of years ago, I decided to turn a spare bedroom into a closet. But despite the extra space, I couldn’t find a thing to wear! Only after doing a whole Marie Kondo style purging and reorganizing is that space now the refuge that I intended it to be. Next stop, the garage!
Speaking of self-care, what are some of your self-care routines?
This is also a new development after quarantine. The concept of self -care. I now meditate, do yoga and take at least two walks a day. It has helped me sleep and all but stopped the non-stop chatter
in my brain.
Being the foodie that you are, were there any spots you were dying to dine at once we got the green light to go out again?
There are probably too many to mention. But definitely places like Stubborn Seed, Alter, KYU, Ariete, La Mar, Leku, Mandolin, Byblos, Sanguiche de Miami, and the list goes on and on. Miami has become a legitimate foodie town, and new restaurants with exciting inventive cuisines are popping up everywhere. I hope that trend continues. Sadly, one of my all-time favorites and a Coral Gables staples after more than 2 decades, Ortanique, was a sad casualty of the pandemic.
Tell us, what sets your sauce Skinny Latina apart from the other sauces? Do they tap
into your Cuban flare?
Skinny Latina Marinade is not just a sauce, it’s a solution. It is a marinade, a sauce, and a flavor enhancer all in one bottle. It is the solution for the busy mom who needs to get dinner on the table quickly after a long day. It is for the divorced dad who has never had to cook before and wants to make delicious meals without going to culinary school. It is for the college student living away from home for the first time, or the newly wed, or the empty nester, or for people who love to entertain. It is even for the seasoned cook who needs a flavor shortcut. Skinny Latina gives you that taste, the one you get on the back end, the one you only get from knowing how to balance flavors in food. It is foolproof. You can’t fail with Skinny Latina- and that is what sets it apart from every other sauce on the market. It's magic in a bottle.
What inspired you to create Skinny Latina in the first place?
A traditional mojo was the inspiration behind Skinny Latina’s flagship product. But I wanted the flavor to be versatile and appeal to the masses. As with all things Latin, it is full of flavor but also pairs well with all kinds of cuisine. I used to make it in large mason jars when I was a young lawyer juggling a law practice and two little girls. It made mealtime a breeze.
Any projects in the works?
Yes, a couple of exciting things happening. Skinny Latina Chimichurri Sauce is launching in October. And I am sure it is going be a best seller. Chimichurri is notoriously tough to make shelf stable. Most of the ones out there are made using dried herbs. Dried herbs like the ones used in chimichurri in particular, lack flavor. Often a bunch of artificial stuff is added to make up for that. It took a while but we managed to create a chimi using fresh herbs and pure olive oil. It is heart healthy, low carb, keto friendly and just delicious. Can’t wait for everyone to try it! I’m also super excited about this project because it comes at the perfect time. After the pandemic, I think people are really looking for something that is not only entertaining, but something that moves them. “Cuba Under The Stars” (Cuba Bajo Las Estrellas)is an interactive outdoor dinner/ theatrical cabaret spectacular. It tells the love story of a couple in Cuba with music and performances from Grammy Award winning talent, 24 dancers on stage, and a full orchestra. It will held in an outdoor tented space which will allow the audience to feel safe and socially distance, while enjoying a much needed night out. Of course, a multicourse menu of delicious Cuban fare created by yours truly will be the crowning touch of
Skinny Latina Meatloaf
1.5 lbs ground beef 85% or 90% lean
.5 lb ground honey ham (see note)
1 med onion finely chopped
2 large eggs
3 garlic cloves minced
1/‹ cup Skinny Latina Marinade
3 Tbsp fresh parsley finely chopped
3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp salt or more to taste
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Meatloaf Glaze Ingredients:
3/4 cup Skinny Latina Guava Fig or Mango
Apricot BBQ Sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
Line a 9”x5” loaf pan with parchment paper and preheat oven to 375°F.
In a large bowl, add all of the ingredients for the meatloaf. Mix well to combine.
Add meat to the loaf pan, gently press meat down and shape evenly and bake meatloaf at 375”F for 40 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients together for the sauce. Spread the sauce over the meatloaf then return to the oven and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Rest meatloaf 10 minutes before slicing. Drizzle with baking juices from the pan.
NOTE: The ground ham makes a big diserence in the final product so it is worth the extra step. I use honey ham from the deli or the prepackaged honey ham and pulse it in the food processor. You can also ask the butcher at the store to grind a ham steak from the meat department. You can freeze any leftover ground ham for an upcoming meatball