Featured in Jon Favreau’s film Chef and named by Time as one of the top ten places to visit in Miami, Versailles Restaurant has been the hub of Miami’s Cuban community for over 30 years. The Versailles Restaurant Cookbook, which presents classic Cuban home cooking recipes from this famous Little Havana restaurant.
Discover the story behind the cookbook in this Q&A with coauthors Ana Quincoces, celebrity chef and guest cohost of ABC’s The View, and Nicole Valls of Valls Group, Inc.—the family-owned and operated parent company for the Versailles Restaurant.
Versailles Restaurant has been a Miami institution for over 40 years. What inspired you to make this cookbook?
Our family felt that a restaurant that has been around as long as Versailles and that is as frequented by such patrons as Versailles merits a cookbook to memorialize our history and our recipes. We have always felt that Versailles not only belonged to us but to our loyal customers as well. This is a way for them to take a little piece of Versailles home with them, no matter where they live.
Celebrities and civilians alike have raved about their visit to this restaurant. Can you tell us about your most memorable personal experience at Versailles?
It is always an amazing treat to see how much celebrities love Versailles and how often they visit. We are always honored when a President or former president pays us a visit, but perhaps the event that left the most indelible impression in our minds was when a group of peaceful protesters marched down SW 8th Street towards Versailles after Elián was forcibly taken from his Miami family and was going to be returned to Cuba. The police were there armed with riot gear, and while they never had occasion to use them, it was still a very chilling scene that we will never forget.