Ana Amaya and Adrian Del Angel are the newly appointed executive chef and executive sous chef, respectively, of Radio Milano and Milano Bar, located in west Houston’s CITYCENTRE district. The acclaimed venues span two floors of Hotel Sorella CITYCENTRE with Radio Milano overlooking the hotel’s rooftop pool and street level Milano Bar featuring an expansive patio on Sorella Court. Amaya and Del Angel share parallel resumes as a dynamic husband and wife team with more than two decades of culinary experience earned under the tutelage of some of the city’s top chefs and restaurateurs.
With the summer 2019 menus, they take over full control of daily operations both in the restaurant and for hotel catering and special events from Radio Milano founding chef Jose Hernandez, now fully ensconced as hotel and executive chef for Hotel Sorella CITYCENTRE’s sister property, Hotel Alessandra, and its Lucienne restaurant and Bardot lounge.
The evolution of what began as a modern Italian concept is now well underway. Diners can now expect larger portions, French and Latin accents and a renewed focus on extensive seasonal revisions. Unforgettable flavors and pristine presentation are top priority for the team with dishes that include Bison Bolognese, Veal Ossobuco, Seared Redfish and Lobster Ravioli.
Amaya and Del Angel started their food journey in Houston at Hotel Derek’s former in-house restaurant, Maverick, where Amaya was a line cook and Del Angel was a dishwasher. It was the first restaurant job for both, Amaya having recently relocated from her native El Salvador and Del Angel seeking a creative alternative to the construction industry.
What began as a means to make ends meet, soon turned into a passion. In 2004, the duo remained at Hotel Derek as Maverick transitioned to Bistro Moderne, a restaurant that earned national accolades under the direction of now Master Chef Philippe Schmit, a French transplant that cemented his rise in New York at Le Bernardin, La Goulue and Orsay before making his mark in Houston. While honing their French techniques, Amaya was promoted to sous chef and Del Angel to lead cook, and they had the opportunity to work alongside rising stars Manuel Pucha and Ryan Hildebrand.
“I owe my livelihood and love to Chef Philippe,” says Amaya about Schmit, who continues to be their mentor and was also pivotal in the career trajectory of Hotel Alessandra’s Hernandez.
In turn, Hernandez would eventually broaden the perspective and palettes of the couple, who were reunited with him at Hotel Sorella CITYCENTRE in 2016. Joining the property as sous chefs, they not only assisted in day-to-day operations for Radio Milano, but also took an active role in the kitchen as Hernandez began testing the more Mediterranean-focused menus for Lucienne.
Following Bistro Moderne’s closure in 2007, the couple parted professional ways with Amaya landing a position at Kiran’s under one of Houston’s most respected female chef/restaurateurs Kiran Verma at Kiran’s, while Del Angel went on to landmark Bistro Provence. In 2009, they were together again as co sous chefs at Max’s Wine Dive in The Heights. Soon after, Amaya took on the executive chef responsibilities for the brand, while Del Angel supported openings around Texas – roles they held until joining Valencia Hotel Group at Hotel Sorella CITYCENTRE.
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