'Cooking is an act of love': A visit to Antigua Latin Inspired Kitchen in West Allis
WEST ALLIS, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Nicolas Ramos is the chef at Antigua Latin Inspired Kitchen. He co-owns the restaurant with his wife. His cooking journey initially started when he learned the ropes of the kitchen from his now wife 's family more than 20-years-ago.
"I never really thought about becoming a restaurant owner, becoming a cook or becoming a chef.
When growing up, it never crossed my mind, but when I'm making something, my mind goes back to her, you know my mother-in-law, just because she was my teacher, said Ramos. "But it also goes to my grandma. "When I think of food when I was little, I don’t think of me cooking. I think of family being together cooking."
Antigua's menu opens your taste buds to an authentic taste of Latin America. You'll find a variety of items on the menu, including Encocao De Camaron. It's a traditional dish from Ecuador.
Ramos has been known to stray away from the restaurant's menu from time to time to fulfill special request. It's requests from patrons craving a taste of home that's so many miles away. It's something that he doesn’t mind doing.
"My father-in-law use to say something," said Ramos. "There is no kitchen without love and that’s what it is. We see recipes all day, we see different recipes, but a recipe is only words written on paper. Once you transform it into food. It's what you put into it."
In an interview CBS 58, Ramos became emotional while reminiscing about his mother-in-law.
"We lost her 4-years-ago and she really never had the chance to enjoy a lot of this. I don’t want to say this is the top of our success, but it is a lot that we have accomplish," as Ramos looked at the restaurant's accolades on the wall.
His mother-in-law photo appear on the same wall.
"This is a tough business. The restaurant industry is a tough industry. If you don’t like, if you don’t have love for it. I think it will reflect on your plate," said Ramos."
It's been said before that home is where the heart is, perhaps it's also safe to say a little love goes a long way in the kitchen.