Behind the Scenes Of Your Favorite Eateries

by | Sep 25, 2017 | Food & Wine, Meet the Chef

 Get to know the masterminds behind the dishes from some of SCV’s favorite eateries.

Chef Anibal Hernandez
Egg Plantation
24415 Walnut Street, Newhall
661-255-8222 •
Anibal Hernandez is such a huge part of the magic that is Egg Plantation. He has been with the restaurant for 12 years. From overseeing all of the preparation of the food to actually manning the Omelette station, where he can be cooking up to eight dishes at the same time, very few can do what Anibal does. His favorite breakfast to make is the Suzannes, a traditional Mexican breakfast dish. Anibal also loves to dance and spend time with his family.

Chef Martin De La Cruz
Wolf Creek Restaurant & Brewery CO.
27746 McBean Pkwy, Valencia
661-263-9653 •
Twenty-four years ago, Chef Martin De La Cruz started in the restaurant business.  A job became a passion as Martin worked his way up to chef.  Chef Martin loves to use his creativity to come up with delicious new entrées.  Wolf Creek makes everything from scratch using a wide variety of fresh ingredients. They are famous around SCV for items like their Flat Iron Steak topped with melted gorgonzola cheese, and their Cilantro Caesar Salad, a Wolf Creek twist on a traditional Caesar. We take our guests’ requests, new ideas from the culinary world, and combine them using Chef Martin’s skill and experience, to develop the Wolf Creek menu.  Wolf Creek is a unique dining, beer sampling, banquet hosting and catering experience in the heart of Santa Clarita, California. Discover their signature entrees served steaming hot next to a cold pint of their handcrafted ale and finished with house-made award-winning desserts.

Chef & Owner Leticia Salazar-Hansen
Sabor Cocina Mexicana
23953 Newhall Ranch Road Valencia
661-259-9002 •
With nearly two generations of restaurant experience Chef Leticia Salazar-Hansen has enjoyed making dishes that dazzle the taste buds.  Her family started a chain of Mexican restaurants back in 1970, and she opened SABOR, an upscale modern Mexican restaurant in Valencia over six years ago. Chef Leticia later opened another SABOR in Thousand Oaks. “My passion for food started early, when I was five. I’ve worked in every part of this industry: hostess, server, manager, kitchen, before I found my passion in the kitchen. We use organic, wild caught seafood, Midwestern beef, and have 31 items on the menu and 28 different types of sauces- each dish has its own unique flavor.”

Chef Aurelio Arellano
Stonefire Grill
23300 Cinema Drive, Valencia
Chef Aurelio lives locally with his wife and three wonderful kids.  He enjoys cooking, fishing, playing soccer and spending time with family. Stonefire is excited to Tri-Tip for 2 for $19.99, A Chicken Special for $19.99, and a Lunch Special for $7 each. These three specials are quickly becoming popular, healthy and delicious favorites at Stonefire! See what else we have to offer at

Executive Chef Chef Peyton Poulsen
The Oaks Grille – TPC Valencia
26550 Heritage View Drive, Valencia • 661-288-1995 •
Peyton Poulsen is the Executive Chef at the TPC in Valencia.  He oversees the culinary direction for the Oaks Grille restaurant.  Chef Poulsen graduated from Le Cordon Bleu School of Culinary Arts in 2008 and specializes in farm-to-table cuisine.  He offers an enhanced menu along with healthier dining options, including featuring several vegan and gluten-free dishes, using locally produced ingredients.  The Oaks Grill is open to the general public and offers an unforgettable dining experience with breathtaking views of the entire Santa Clarita Valley.

Lee’s Wine Bistro
24510 Town Center Drive, Suite 310, Valencia  •  661-259-7754
So you thought Lee’s Wine Bistro was all about the wine?  Not so, Lee’s food menu will amaze you with reasonably priced delicious rib eye steaks, (pictured left) almond crusted salmon, or delicious pork chops served with garlic mashed potatoes and vegetables.  If you are in the mood for appetizers try their ceviche or gourmet cheese platter.  With one of the best wine choices in town, complete your meal with a glass of recommended by Lee.  You can find Lee’s Wine Bistro on Facebook and learn more about exclusive specials.

Chef & Owner Juan Alonso
Le Chene French Cuisine
12625 Sierra Highway, Santa Clarita • 661-251-4315 •
Owner and chef, Juan Alonso, brings richness to his cooking that keeps his customers coming back for more, year after year.  Raised in the heart of France, Juan brings a wealth of culinary experience to the plate. Juan is celebrating 51 years cooking and over 35 at Le Chene. His favorite dish is Clafoutis Aux Cerises (Baked Cherry Pudding). This is time of the year where store fruit is plentiful. This is a beautiful and delicious desert as well as also easy to make. Want the recipe? Write [email protected]

Chef Dustin Boole
Newhall Refinery
24258 Main Street, Newhall • 661-388-4477 •
Chef Dustin brings more to the plate than just food. Having been classically trained and put in his time at high-end venues, and working under some amazing mentors, Dustin has the fundamental knowledge and experience required for any chef position. What makes his work stand out is how he has arrived at his own style combining his formal training experience, worldly practice, and individual sense of dynamic creativity. At Newhall Refinery, it is not just about the food, but the whole concept behind the food. The story, the colors, the textures, smells and presentation are all factored in for each-and-every dish. Besides the visual, all other senses play an essential role in the dishes at Newhall Refinery. One of the ways Chef Dustin cooks (besides with his eyes and hands) is with his strong sense of smell and purposeful recollection. The scent from a fresh bunch of herbs may bring him back to a specific meal from his past, just as a particular flavor may be reminiscent of a meaningful experience he had encountered. Taking those memories and reinterpreting them into a fresh, bold, unique dish to be shared with our guests… that, is what Chef Boole is all about.

Chef Adam Bokal
Sisley Restaurant • Bar • Bakery
24201 Valencia Blvd, Valencia
661-287-4444 •
Motivational speaker and author, Anthony Robbins stated to a sold out audience that “Passion is the genius of genius!” This mantra resonates throughout Sisley’s new and improved menu selections created by renowned Chef Adam Bokal. For the past several years Chef Bokal has honed his artistry working right here in the Santa Clarita Valley. As a young man growing up in Newhall, Ca he attended William S. Hart Senior High School and soon after completed his culinary training at California School of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, California. He got his start at a local country club in Valencia, where for over 11 years he made his food a work of art and flavor. Present day try his passion and genius at Sisley’s Restaurant located outside of the Westfield Town Center location in Valencia.

Owner Miguel Perez
MJ’s Tap House grill
20655 Soledad Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita
661-250-7899 •
Located in the beautiful Santa Clarita Valley we offer a variety of modern barbeque and feature an extensive list of craft and premium beers. Our Tap House specialty is delicious char-grilled tri-tip. This family marinate recipe was created and mastered over the past 15 years and is a crowd pleaser. Come enjoy a leisurely brew and meal in our casual rustic atmosphere or relax in the outdoor patio. We look forward to seeing you. Come visit MJ’s Tap House Grill today!

Chef Mandana Mirbabak
Persia Lounge & Restaurant
24328 Main St
Santa Clarita • 661-259-4100 •
Persia Lounge & Restaurant started in 2004 and was aquired by Mandana & Homayoun in 2006. Mandana, a licensed cook & baker from Iran, along with Homayoun knew they had to change the menu to make the food more authentic. With Mandana’s new recipes Persia Lounge & Restaurant has successfully won several awards and has been recognized as one of the best restaurants in Santa Clarita valley. Mandana runs the kitchen while also following her true passion—professional cake making.  Come down to Main street stop by Persia Lounge & Restaurant to see what all the talk is about.

GM – Richard Bokstrom
Larsen’s Steakhouse
24320 Town Center Dr, Valencia
661-288-1002 •
Larsen’s requires a highly skilled butcher to be at the location at all times to monitor airflow, temperature, and humidity. During dry aging, the prime meats’ natural enzymes act as soothing tenderizers. At the same time, moisture evaporation improves the supple texture and hearty taste of the meat, making it richer and more buttery. Dry aging continues until a thin coating develops on the meat surface. This coating seals in flavor and juice, and is later trimmed off. Larsen’s then wet ages its beef for another arduous fourteen days, preserving its flavor of highly marbled, prime grade meat, from exceptional cattle breed. This process is a respected, time-honored technique of preparing high quality beef. It ensures that our guests enjoy the best steak they’ve ever had.
Furthermore, our diligent method of preparation includes slowly searing the meat in its own natural juices at 500 degrees, rather than blast cooking it at 1700 degrees like most steakeries. Why rush your steak? We cook it slower, making it the best steak possible. No exceptions.

Chef Ignacio Munoz
Salt Creek Grille
24415 Town Center Drive, #115, Valencia
661-222-9999  •
It was in 1993 when Executive Chef Ignacio Munoz made his start in the food industry. He and his brother opened up a restaurant in Mexico called The Red Enchilada.  After three years, he went to work at The Monar Bay Club in Dana Point, eventually making his way to the Salt Creek Grille family in Dana Point and then to Valencia, where he is currently the Executive Chef.  Hands down his most popular dish is the Cured Center Cut Double Thick Pork Chop, however Chef Ignacio’s favorite item on the menu is the New York Strip, 21-day dry-aged beautifully marbled cut of steak.  “I love food and the look on people’s faces when they love a new dish that I have created.”

Owner Jose Lucatero
Margarita’s Mexican Grill
23320 Valencia Boulevard, Valencia
661-255-1136 •
Margaritas Mexican Grill of Valencia. Looking for Mexican food? Do you love that old fashioned, family feeling? Then come try our authentic Mexican Restaurant. Margaritas Mexican Grill will make you feel at home. Step into the warm, festive décor at Margaritas Grill and be greeted with big smiles of the friendly staff. We have a Great Lunch Buffet. At the same time, we have Happy Hour, Saturday Breakfast and Sunday Champagne Brunch, available weekly. Come to Margaritas Mexican Grill in order to share the terrific food and that family feeling!

Chef Iraj
Olive Terrace Bar & Grill
28261 Newhall Ranch Road, Valencia
661-257-7860 •
Olive Terrace has been a long time staple for great food and drinks fashioned from all over the world. The man responsible for the amazing selections is Chef Iraj. He has put his own twist on some of the Middle East’s most notable dishes and what a twist it has been. The Iranian native has brought century-old recipes and experiences from his home country to the Santa Clarita Valley, and many customers flock to the restaurant to enjoy it.  His spin on the traditional dishes makes Olive Terrace a go to place for flavor and fun fit for a Shah but on a budget!

Owner Chris Roong
Mom Can Cook Thai Kitchen
18358 Soledad Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita
661-251-8103 •
Our concept is to serve you with a simple but tasteful blend of Thai food from my mom who has been cooking for many years. She was born to a large family in the northern part of Thailand. She became my Grandmother’s kitchen helper. Starting at young age she quickly became a talented cook. When I’m away from her I miss her cooking. Now I have her cooking everyday, and I would like to share her gifted cooking with you.



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