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Monthly Archives: December 2013

International Chef Waldo is Extraordinaire

Photos by Ramón Hernández

12-13-ChefWaldo-ReducedChef Waldo Frank Óscar Castro Zambrano is so prominent and so much as has been written about him and his famous dishes in countless superlative adjectives that it is hard to describe him and his creations without fear of being accused of plagiarism.

The story of this Wonderful, Amazing, Latino, Distinguished Outgoing human being, who is also Courteous, HHelpful, Exceptional and Flamboyant, is as astounding as its subject.

The world renowned chef’s love for cooking began when he was just a young boy and cooking became a passion that made him the best among his peers. Perhaps his secret is several lifetimes of recipes that his mother passed down to him as a sort of culinary inheritance.

Waldito, as he is affectionately called, completed his culinary studies in Lima, Perú in October 1981, spent two years working each position in the kitchen, then went on to cook in the most prestigious Peruvian hotel chains that sent him to Jamaica, Puerto Rico, the Cayman Islands and other Caribbean countries as an executive chef.

To learn firsthand about other Latin cuisines and the meaning of food in other countries, the industrious young man also spent some time traveling to Brazil, Ecuador and Bolivia.

That accumulated experience translated into an impressive resume that allowed the ambitious young chef to explore new horizons. He set his vision on the United States and in 1986, the chef, who was born on the fourth of July, migrated to Miami where, a year later, the go-getter obtained his certificate for Interior Decoration from the University of Miami followed by a business management degree in 1989.

Determined to succeed, in 1995, Waldo was named “Manager of the Year” of the Hyatt Regency at the Almamera in Coral Gables, Florida and in July 1999, he participated in El Foro 99, a technical symposium and exposition for professionals in the Latin American Food Industry.

The achiever forged ahead as production chef, banquet chef, executive chef and executive Sous chef for five-star hotels such as Hotel Inter-Continental, Don Shula’s Hotel & Gold Club, Radisson’s Deauville Resort,  the Sheraton and the Colonnade Hotel in Miami, Coral Gables, Miami Beach and Bal Harbour, Florida. It was also at these hotels where the charismatic chef was put in charge of private banquets for President Bill Clinton, Julio Iglesias, Enrique Iglesias, Meryl Streep and many other world-known celebrities.

Then it was on to the Doubletree Hotel in Atlanta, Buckhead, Georgia, where in 2002, the now acknowledged, class act chef received the “Leader of the Quarter” award.

Returning to Miami before the end of the year, the daring and dynamic chef opened Chick-N-Grill and by November, food critics for newspapers such as Perú Hoy were writing rave reviews about the tender, juicy and tasty chicken that emitted an exotic aroma, but was yet healthy due to Waldo’s unique combination of tropical herbs.

As a business owner, Waldo became the vice-president of the American Christian Chamber of Commerce and also started giving back to the community. Hence was recognized for his efforts with a Certificate of Appreciation from Dade Partners.

The year 2005, also signaled the first of many accolades to follow when he received a citation from the El Rey Jesús Leadership Institute.

Not one to rest on his laurels, in 2009, Chef Waldo arrived in the Alamo City to manage the Crowne Plaza Hotel. However, he was ready to set Texas’ culinary world on fire and give the city his Divine Taste in the way of catering with flair, but why San Antonio?

“I call it the baby Miami because there are people from so many nations and cultures; and it’s expanding,” the gregarious chef said with a smile.

Quickly building up a reputation for his culinary skills, it wasn’t long before the remarkable Peruvian became even more visible when he was featured on the Food Network’s television show, “Iron Chef” and “Hell’s Kitchen.”

The problem is that only those that attended an event that he catered, were able to enjoy his succulent dishes. To go public, in 2010 Waldo came up with the idea of mixing food with entertainment in the way of live music acts when he organized “Sabor A Mi” for the National Hispanic Professional Organization (NHPO). The ingenious chef then garnered more publicity when he delighted many San Antonio mom’s by cooking up a special international breakfast for a Telemundo television Mother’s Day event.

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The demand for his culinary delights indicated that he needed to open his own restaurant, but no one would help him. However, he was daring, rented a space in a strip center and started out with one table with his wife Josephine “Josie” Bocanegra waiting on first one, then two and three tables as the determined chef cooked, served, washed dishes and ended the night with broom and mop in hand as he helped his wife clean up the place.

“I decided to open my own restaurant because it was in my plans, but it wasn’t easy trying to take an idea to make money without having money. The business was going up, but I still needed help and that’s when they told me about Acción,” Waldo said of the organization that was instrumental in his survival.

Then, as a music promoter and sponsored by NHPO, in October 2010, he brought in Tito Puente Jr., Domenic Marte and Los Tres Reyes to the Sunken Gardens. And yes, those in attendance were introduced to Waldo’s cooking.

The following year, Waldo hosted his own International Month Celebration that featured foods from ten countries on January 15, 2011 at Wonderland of the Americas. Later that same year, he brought his Taste of the America’s event plus eight salsa/merengue/reggaeton bands to what was now the “Sabor A Mi” International Festival Salsarengueton.

His “Taste of the America’s” also razzle dazzled event goers to the Fats Tuesday event at Wonderland of the America’s. In summary, all his events were huge hits.

In 2012, the established, acknowledged professional chef was called upon to provide his input at the St. Philip’s College committee meetings as an advisor to help them keep their curriculum up to date in regard to their teachings to culinary, pastry and restaurant students.

The rise of this formidable chef was surprisingly astonishing. Was it because of his exceptional cooking skills and exotic, creative dishes or was it due to his endearing personality?

Waldo attributes his rise to fame to persistence and most important to God, who heard and answered his prayers.

Most people agree that he is todo corazón, he’s all heart and that has made him highly respected member of our community. A classic example of what he is doing for others is Chef Waldo’s Wheel Chair Foundation through which this Good Samaritan’s co-president, Josie, and James Holtzclaw formed with the main purpose of taking care of children and others with disabilities by specifically distributing wheel chairs obtained through private funding sources and donations, to those in need at no cost.

“The Bible says, ‘give and you shall receive.’ I’m a Christian, so I have a lot of faith and with a good woman and son by your side, how could I not be blessed,” the extremely, generous 52-year-old restaurateur said.

“I give back to the community because I simply like to help people and I love to do everything I can for a human being; and if you give, they’ll love you back.

Now that you have met the man behind the taste, this writer will introduce you to his craft and the culinary creativity that has made him a star, that thanks to a slew of glowing rave reviews by top-notch, tough as nails, highly opinionated food critics, is fast becoming legendary.

When it comes to catering special events, ceviche is at the top of his menu and Waldo makes this dish by placing shrimp and fish into an artfully crafted citrus marinade and it isn’t long before the acid in the juice begins to ‘cook’ the fresh chunks of fish, scallops, shrimp and more. After you take a bite of this zingy creation, you will never want to eat any other version again.

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Incidentally, the ceviche is served with a small glass of the marinating leche de tigre (tiger’s milk) juice, which is reputed to act as an aphrodisiac.

Other goodies in the salad section include saipicon de pollo. The main course on the carving station is a choice of pork, chicken rotisserie; yucca cooked two different ways, tostones and maduros.

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The hot station may features parmesan risotto, tomato basic risotto, paella Valenciana, fresh Napoleon vegetables plus homemade chicken and pork tamales wrapped in green banana leaves.

To quench the thirst and make the food go down smoothly, Chef Waldo prepares his famous homemade orange, pineapple and peach iced tea.

Waldo’s patrons cannot help but sate themselves followed by taking care of their sweet tooth with a vast array of fresh fruits that one can dip in a cascading flow of chocolate. Then there’s his popular tembleque and crema voltiada, which looks like, but is the opposite of flan.

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As for what is featured in El Ceviche de Waldito’s restaurant, the ceviche and other delectable native gastronomical delicacies such as the papa a la Huacaina and picante de mariscos — a slightly spicy blend of sautéed seafood from crab, shrimp, octopus, calamari, tilapia and mussels — are not a buffet item, but are a part of the Peruvian menu, which Waldo is ready to prepare at a moment’s notice.

The papa de Hacaina rocks and some food critics have asked for bread to scoop and sop up the sauces because as they say, “It’s that good.”

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Edmund Tijerina of the San Antonio Express-News wrote: There are so many versions and slight variations when it comes to making lomo saltado (stir-fried beef strips with onion and peppers tossed with French fries) that it’s worth trying several to get a sense of which version you prefer. All the more reason for trying more Peruvian cuisine and Chef Waldo serves as an excellent guide.”

The member of SA’s Club Social y Cultural Peruano is so enamored with cooking that he loves sharing the multifaceted cooking methods of his native country as much as he enjoys cooking those incredible dishes.

The fabulous multiple choice buffet, at a reasonable $6.99 is within anyone’s budget; and it includes a choice of pernil (roast pork),  chicken, soup and salad plus a choice of white rice or the classic Puerto Rican/Cuban arroz con gandules, habichuelas guisadas (black beans), tostones (mashed and fried plantains), sweet plantains, hibiscus tea and dessert.

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So to taste wonderful international flavors without traveling to the mountains of Perú, go to Waldito’s where you will get twice the quantity of other restaurants, but at half the price.

In the print medium, food reviews on Waldo’s savory, mouth-watering dishes that include photographs that make a person drool, have been featured in Flavor (San Antonio’s Ultimate Food Lover’s Guide) and San Antonio and Austin’s Wedding Guide Magazine. Waldo would also like to thank Richard Teitz at SA Current magazine, Amanda Lozano at La Prensa, Vladmir Ramírez at El Mundo de Austin and Chris Vásquez at The Helotes Echo to name just a few other publications.

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No wonder this culinary star received a Medal for his selection as Chef of the Year at this year’s Alberto Alegre Awards, which were sponsored by Radio Digital 104.1 FM and in demand for television interviews.

Certificates, restaurant reviews and other accolades wallpaper two sides of his restaurant, so come out and find out what all the fuss is about and meet the showman chef whose backstage is the kitchen and his stage is behind the buffet bar or serving lots of hugs and banter on the floor

El Ceviche de Waldito is located outside Loop 410 and one block north of the CD Exchange at 5526 Evers Road.

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Homeward Bound “a true story”

Homeward Bound     “a true story”

A little over two months ago my neighbor Elaine who likes to feed the homeless animal’s, mainly cats mentioned to us that someone was not only eating all of the cat food that she normally puts out in her front yard but also taking away the bowls!  We all came to the conclusion that it was probably a loose dog that has been wandering around the area recently. My wife Yvonne then noticed that dog at our back fence once it was feeding time for our dogs, so she decided to start going around our house to see if she could start feeding him also.  As she called out for him  he would come running around to the front of the house with hesitation.  He would wait for the food tray to be placed on the ground and he cautiously would start eating.  She tried to get closer to him and he would retreat, he had  a collar with tags and we hoped it had the  owners phone number. Tried to get close enough to read them but to no avail, this routine continued for weeks. Two weeks ago we formally met our neighbor Angela from the end of our cul-de-sac and the subject of this lost dog came up and as it turns out , Angela had been feeding him breakfast every morning before she headed off to work.  Our homes back up to an area of beautiful woods and trees and that is where “Rudy” alias, would go back to after his meals and running around this was  his home and shelter.  We would worry about him on those super cold nights but thanks to caring neighbors he did not lack food or water.   On Tuesday, Christmas Eve as Yvonne was handing out her homemade Christmas Cheesecakes to our neighbors we came across Angela’s neighbor Ernest and his family. He too was familiar with Rudy and said whenever he was griiling  steaks he would share with Rudy!  Wow did we feel cheap. Moments later Rudy came out to play, Yvonne would lay on the ground to make Rudy feel more comfortable and as I watched Yvonne get a hold of him and was able to release his collar and YES there was a phone number. As Rudy ran back to the woods Yvonne made the phone call and left a message. A man called back after about an hour and said he would call back when he was done with his deliveries as he was working for UPS.    Later around 6:15 that evening “Jeremy”s wife called and asked for our address as they were both on the way to pick up Rudy!   Yea, when they arrived Rudy was no where to be found so  “our adopted son” who thinks he’s a UPS driver with all the miles he racks up, went into the woods to attempt to flush out Rudy and lo and behold Rudy came out. I think all the animals RUN for their life when they hear or see him. When the owners called out to Huckleberry aka as Rudy he was still in a resistance mode.” Come to mama Huckleberry”  and the dog would sit and listen, get up nervously , sit and stare.  After 20 minutes Yvonne ran to the front yard and the dog pursued her it took another 10 minutes to get close to him so we bribed him with ham and Carrie’s fresh chili…… What happened next would have been a winner for America’s funniest video’s as Yvonne was on the ground wrestling Huckleberry as she tried to capture Rudy,  along with our son and the dogs owner.  SUCCESS came when Josue wrapped his arms around him and carried Huckleberry to the car.   Once in, the dog gave a big lick to his owner on the cheek…… Huckleberry was rescued again, he knew he was HOME.…

After a brief conversation we found out Jeremy’s wife had tripped over Huckleberry on the stairs and broke both her legs 6 months ago. With mounting medical bills and unable to care for him they gave Huckleberry to Jeremy’s best friend who lives about 4 blocks from here.  It broke her heart to give him up .   They checked up on the dog and no response from the friend until last month they finally asked  if he still had Huckleberry he said “ well yes and no “ and that was that.

Jeremy and his wife had rescued Huckleberry as an abandoned puppy.

That evening Jeremy’s wife sent Yvonne  some photo’s.  On Christmas eve  after 6 months of being lost,  Huckleberry is home safe and sound .

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                                                    Huckleberry as a puppy

Duck Dynasty‘s Phil Robertson Says Being Gay Is Illogical

 

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Duck Dynasty‘s Phil Robertson Says Being Gay Is Illogical: A Vagina Is More Desirable Than a Man’s Anus

by Zach Johnson

Duck DynastyGQ

As a straight man, Duck Dynasty‘s Phil Robertson doesn’t understand what it means to be gay.

In the January 2014 issue of GQ, the A&E reality star shares his views on homosexuality and opens up about his conservative, Louisiana-based family, and their strong Christian faith.

“We’re Bible-thumpers who just happened to end up on television,” he says of his family’s meteoric rise to fame, which has landed them multiple tabloid covers and a spot on Barbara WaltersMost Fascinating People of 2013 list. “You put in your article that the Robertson family really believes strongly that if the human race loved each other and they loved God, we would just be better off. We ought to just be repentant, turn to God, and let’s get on with it, and everything will turn around.”

One thing isn’t likely to turn around, however, is the duck hunter’s views on modern immorality. “Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong,” Phil says. “Sin becomes fine.”

“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he tells the magazine. Paraphrasing Corinthians, he says, “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

Phil continues, “It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

NEWS: Duck Dynasty stars want “sin control”

Jep Robertson doesn’t explicitly tell GQ that he agrees with his father’s sentiments, but it seems likely that he does. “We’re not quite as outspoken as my dad, but I’m definitely in line,” he says of his backwater family. “If somebody asks, I tell ’em what the Bible says.”

Phil, 67, later says that he’s not too concerned with how other people are living.

“We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?”

NEWS: Duck Dynasty‘s Sadie and John Luke make homecoming court

Phil also predicts Duck Dynasty will be off the air in three to five years. He’s grateful to have been able to share his family’s views with more than 14 million viewers each week.

“For the sake of the Gospel, it was worth it,” he says of doing the reality show. “All you have to do is look at any society where there is no Jesus. I’ll give you four: Nazis, no Jesus. Look at their record. Uh, Shintos? They started this thing in Pearl Harbor. Any Jesus among them? None. Communists? None. Islamists? Zero. That’s 80 years of ideologies that have popped up where no Jesus was allowed among those four groups. Just look at the records as far as murder goes among those four groups.”

(As GQ notes, Phil ignores centuries of war, bloodshed and human enslavement committed in the name of Christ.)

NEWS: How much money does the Duck Dynasty cast make?

Phil—who says he misses the “old days”—believes all sinners are capable of finding salvation.

“If you simply put your faith in Jesus coming down in flesh, through a human being, God becoming flesh living on the earth, dying on the cross for the sins of the world, being buried, and being raised from the dead—yours and mine and everybody else’s problems will be solved,” he says.

ENEWS

Shakira: Lawsuit By Ex-Boyfriend Dismissed

Shakira: Lawsuit By Ex-Boyfriend Dismissed

A judge refuses to entertain Antonio de la Rua’s claim that he was instrumental in Shakira’s rise to global stardom.

Las Vegas Screening Of "Love In The Time Of Cholera"

Shakira and Antonio de la Rua in 2006 when they were together

    A lawsuit by Shakira’s ex-boyfriend seeking tens of millions of dollars from the singer has been dismissed by a judge in California.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Abraham Khan’s ruling sided with lawyers for the pop star who argued that the case should be filed in her native Colombia or the Bahamas where she currently claims residency.

Antonio de la Rua sued his ex-girlfriend in April stating he was instrumental in her transformation into a global star. He wants more than $100m.

Shakira called for the ‘harassment’ to end

His lawsuit claimed that he acted as her manager but had not been paid since 2010. The pair dated for more than a decade and broke up in 2011.

Mr De la Rua had previously sought access to Shakira’s Swiss bank accounts but a judge rejected that effort in June. He also sued the Hips Don’t Lie singer in New York, but the case was dropped.

In a statement, Shakira said: “I am very grateful that the courts are not allowing these groundless lawsuits to proceed.

“I have moved on in my life and could not be happier now. I hope this harassment will now come to an end.”

The latest ruling does not address the merits of the case.

Rachel Fleishman, a lawyer for Mr de la Rua, argued during a hearing that the case should be heard in Los Angeles because its judges were experienced in the complexity of entertainment contracts and Shakira frequently travels to the city to serve as a judge on the competition show The Voice.

She also argued that many of the witnesses in the case live and work in Los Angeles

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Abraham Khan’s ruling sided with lawyers for the pop star who argued that the case should be filed in her native Colombia or the Bahamas where she currently claims residency.

Antonio de la Rua sued his ex-girlfriend in April stating he was instrumental in her transformation into a global star. He wants more than $100m.

Shakira called for the ‘harassment’ to endShakira performs during the opening concert for the 2010 World Cup

His lawsuit claimed that he acted as her manager but had not been paid since 2010. The pair dated for more than a decade and broke up in 2011.

Mr De la Rua had previously sought access to Shakira’s Swiss bank accounts but a judge rejected that effort in June. He also sued the Hips Don’t Lie singer in New York, but the case was dropped.

In a statement, Shakira said: “I am very grateful that the courts are not allowing these groundless lawsuits to proceed.

“I have moved on in my life and could not be happier now. I hope this harassment will now come to an end.”

The latest ruling does not address the merits of the case.

Rachel Fleishman, a lawyer for Mr de la Rua, argued during a hearing that the case should be heard in Los Angeles because its judges were experienced in the complexity of entertainment contracts and Shakira frequently travels to the city to serve as a judge on the competition show The Voice.

She also argued that many of the witnesses in the case live and work in Los Angeles.

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