By Nancy Chuda Founder and Editor-in-Chief of LuxEcoLiving and co-founder of Healthy Child Healthy World
The new Landsby Hotel's hottest ticket is their bar and restaurant, Mad & Vin. You can expect an entirely different experience once you enter the smartly designed interiors of the hotels entrance but even better, a sensational array of gastronomic gems that tempt palates and infuses taste.
I loved mt experience at Mad & Vin. Mostly, I enjoyed our conversation with Seth while dining with friends. He took time out of the kitchen to share his passion and commitment to making Mad & Vin a place where locals want to hang. Hang is not the quite the right word to describe the excitement and discover the cravings of not just locals, but well healed patrons who are thrilled to say the least, that Solvang can finally claim a "Michelin in the Making!"
NGC- where does the food gene come from in you? Who influenced you the most?
SN-The food gene runs heavily on my mother's side of the family. My Grandparents, Jaime and Karen Santana opened Jaime's Bakery in Ventura, Ca in 1973 and continued to run that and other locations through the 80's until they switched their focus to agriculture (avocados and lemons). The baking gene did not carry over heavily as I am not a huge fan of eating sweets but I do enjoy preparing them in other manifestations. My mother, Cathy Santana not only had a stint in the professional culinary world but also throughout my childhood was always in the kitchen making bread, sourdough waffles and coincidentally enough, aebelskiver. I was raised by my father, Craig Nathan in Malibu who commuted to Van Nuys every day which often left me under the supervision of family, friends and neighbors until I was of an age where I was responsible for myself after arriving home from school. We often would resort to dining out when he would arrive home, exhausted. One day, in science class at Malibu Park Junior High we watched a video on how to prepare Chicken Parmesan. We were supposed to take notes on the scientific process of frying and the conversion of raw protein into cooked.
I, however, was writing down the ingredients and recipe instructions. I went home that day, deciding that I would take it upon myself to have a healthy homemade dinner ready for the man that worked so hard to raise me and keep me safe.I wanted to return the favor. I found that we had all of the ingredients and I made Chicken Parmesan. I absolutely obliterated that kitchen and honestly couldn't tell you if it was edible but I remember clearly how I felt when my father came home and was so thankful that I had made such an effort. I still feel that same warmth when guests enjoy a meal I have prepared anywhere.
NGC- describe your creative process.. start to finish?
NGC- Mad and Vin is a unique new concept what do you hope to accomplish having launched this brand?
SN-The launching of Mad & Vin is truly the most challenging I have ever experienced and I wake up every morning grateful for the opportunity to share what I can. There is a general stigma attached to hotel restaurants. They tend to be pigeonholed into two categories, those that become a destination because a renowned or celebrity chef signs their name on the menu and those that offer mediocre fare, mainly existing as an option to hotel guests if they are not feeling adventurous enough to leave the property and explore the surrounding area. What I hope to accomplish is to decimate that notion. I want people in the Santa Barbara/Santa Ynez Valley, all over the country and the world to see Mad & Vin as a restaurant and bar that they want to visit various times a week. Where they will be recognized after their first visit. Where a winemaker can come in after a long day of harvest with mud-encrusted boots and mingle with visitors from another country that happen to be dressed to the nines and for all involved to be able to return home with a story.
NGC-how does one train to become a well recognized chef?
SN-Possess a true passion for what you do. Be honest with your product, and respect will be gained by the public. Be diligent in your actions and respectful toward your fellow workers and respect will be gained by not only them, but your superiors. Make mistakes, your chef has made them all, your chef has, this chef most definitely has, embrace it.
NGC-what do you consider to be your STAR ingredient in most of the dishes you create at M&V?
SN-Saffron and Sumac are neck and neck on that one at the moment. Though they are not the most commonly used ingredients, they are dominant flavors in two of my most popular preparations.
I loved all the dishes we sampled as well as the unique ingredients and compositions of the cocktails... wow!
1576 Mission Dr, Solvang, CA 93463