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article imageSpanish cuisine hits the big time in Hollywood

By Anne Sewell     Aug 21, 2013 in Food
Los Angeles - Carmen Ruiz de Huidobro moved to the USA from Spain to work as an art director. Then she changed her career course entirely and has now founded a company supplying Spanish cuisine, which has become a smash hit in Hollywood.
Ruiz worked as an Assistant Art Director in Madrid, then in New York, followed by Los Angeles. She worked in art direction, set design and interior design. Then after having her baby things changed.
Ruiz told the Spanish daily news service ABC, "My husband works in film and I wanted to give a boost to my career as an art director. Then I had a baby and my interests changed. I invented "Españolita Foods", a bit like a hobby."
Explaining the reason for a food business, Ruiz said, "It all started five years ago with a paella I ordered that turned out to be very mediocre."
"I found that Spanish food was very poorly represented in California," she added.
Talking about the tastes and cuisine on offer in the area, she said, "On one hand you have restaurants with Latin American cooks who make everything hot and spicy or Americans who love our country but don't know how to simply interpret our flavors."
She added that in her opinion, "There wasn't anywhere normal, unpretentious and open to everyone that showed how we eat in Spain."
So she decided to do something about it, and formed Españolita Foods and Imports.
On her website she states, "The way in which I believed Españolita could be introduced was by embracing California's love for seasonal and fresh food, that I also remembered from my childhood summers in Mallorca, Spain."
Now she has a stand in the Farmer's Market of Studio City, which has become extremely popular.
"The reception has been wonderful," says Ruiz.
She can now count on several top level loyal customers, and her catering service supplies movie director Paul Thomas Anderson at home every week as well as the office of Steven Spielberg at Dreamworks.
Other excellent clients are directors such as Paul Ross and Katherine Bigelow, who visit her stand to buy gourmet Spanish delicacies and also Game of Thrones star Lena Headey both visits the stand, but also orders Bellota ham to be delivered to her on-set.
Ruiz also offers paella parties on a regular basis and of her products, she says on her website, "I take pride in making the best possible Spanish products available to my clients, who also appreciate the simplicity of my cooking, using locally grown ingredients."
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