By Gabriele Walkow
With the May 14, 2017 opening of her stylish restaurant, CHICA, in prestigious Restaurant Row at The Venetian Las Vegas, celebrity chef Lorena Garcia made history, becoming the first female Latina chef and restaurateur on the Strip. This groundbreaking restaurant, taking over the DB Brasserie space, is not only The Venetian’s first Latin concept restaurant, but also the first of its kind in the Las Vegas market.
Created in partnership with John Kunkel, founder of 50 Eggs, Inc., CHICA is the second Kunkel property at The Venetian—the first being the award-winning Yardbird Southern Table & Bar. CHICA is located next to its sister restaurant, creating a dynamic duo.
Raised in Caracas, Venezuela, Garcia has crafted a diverse and vibrant menu presenting the robust flavors of Latin American cuisine as one culture, with inspiration and influences from Venezuela, Peru, Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, among many others.
“CHICA is my big baby. It is close to my heart,” Garcia told Sunseeker. “We are presenting food in a way it has never been presented before at this flagship restaurant. We are combining femininity with fearlessness!”
Signature dishes include a Tuna Ceviche, made from tuna nikkei in an apple infused leche de tigre; Meyer Lemon Rotisserie Chicken, served with Peruvian purple potato salad, fresh hearts of palm and an herb chimichurri; Asado Negro Arepas, created from house-made anise and piloncillo arepas, stuffed with braised short rib; and Kale Lime Chopped Salad, tossed in a citrus vinaigrette, topped with sour green apples, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds and croutons. Combine these flavorful dishes with innovative wine and cocktail pairings, and you have a meal extraordinaire!
“At CHICA we will also be offering different methods of cooking, all happening at the same time,” explained Garcia. “The kitchen features a built-in rotisserie wall and custom Churrasco grill, alongside a state-of-the-art cold bar serving as the focus of the restaurant.”
Living in Miami for two decades, this powerhouse chef is also a TV personality, cookbook author and has created a line of kitchenware. Furthermore, she is the first female to be featured on The Venetian’s larger-than-life Culinary Titans Wall, joining an all male field of culinary heavyweights such as Emeril Lagasse, Mario Batali, Wolfgang Puck and Thomas Keller.
A festive place where cultures and cuisines blend, CHICA is open daily for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. For more information on CHICA, please go here.