HE’S BACK Former head chef Rudy Guitierrez returns to the The Red Hen has cherished the relationships that have been made along the way, and looked forward to each customer visit. Some stop in almost daily, others weekly or even monthly, while still others have moved away and come back every once in a while to get their fajita fix and reminisce. The restaurant appreciates customers’ continued support throughout the years. Now the owners and staff would like to extend a warm welcome-back to the one who helped start it all, Chef Rudy Guitierrez. “I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would come back to the Red Hen Cantina,” says Chef Rudy, “but I’m so happy to be here and take our customers’ eating experience to a new level. It’s all about eating fresh and healthy while improving the taste. Expect new flavors and dishes prepared in the traditional Mexican fashion.” At the age of seventeen, Chef Rudy moved from a small town in the Mexican state of Manzanillo to follow his culinary inclination, and at twenty-four, within two days of meeting met Norm Sawicki, owner of the Red Hen Cantina, in 1983 through a San Francisco newspaper ad, he found himself in Napa ready to establish the institution that the Red Hen is today. Rudy had spent the previous eight years traveling as an assistant to the head chef during the expansion of the Red Onion and Casa Maria Restaurants throughout California and the East Coast; he was ready to settle down to a kitchen of his own. He spent fourteen years as Head Chef at the Red Hen, where he said he “grew a lot as a chef and as a leader in the kitchen.” He met General Manager Lori, with whom he found love, then married, and together they moved from the Red Hen in 1999 to have a baby and open Amigos Bar 70 www.nAPAVA L L E Y L I F Emagaz ine. c om RED HEN CANTINA For thirty years the Red Hen Cantina has strived to provide a fun, relaxed atmosphere~ a place where you go to enjoy a memorable meal with friends and & Grill in Sonoma. They celebrated much success until 2010, when economic obstacles forced them to close the doors. Rudy took a couple of years off from the kitchen to regain his focus and drove a truck travelling the country. family. “It was sort of a culinary exploration,” he says, “and a good way to see what other people were cooking around the country.” Missing his family, he reconnected with Norm and the “welcome back” offer was extended. Rudy recognizes that things at the Red Hen are different now and wants to bring up the dining experience to a new level. He has already started making subtle changes, promising that the dishes will “look” familiar, but will have more flavor, have fresher ingredients and be healthier for their customers. He plans on expanding weekend brunch options and the bar menu, while using the $7.95 weekday lunch deals to showcase house specialties. Other changes at the restaurant include a new remodeled dining room and a more sports-friendly bar. Stop in soon to the Red Hen Cantina and help the restuarant extend its warm welcome back to Chef Rudy Guitierrez.
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