Luna Bella

Chef Ryan Dubasak

The Sentinel-Record - HER - Hot Springs - - Front Page - Story by BEN­JAMIN FRANKS

L

una Bella is de­ceiv­ing. Tucked away in a nor­mal look­ing shop­ping cen­ter on Lake Hamil­ton, it looks like any other small lo­cal restau­rant. Then, you open the front door and the aroma of fresh gar­lic, basil, thyme and oregano wrap around you like a warm coat—invit­ing you into the hid­den pocket of Italy here in Hot Springs.

Ex­ec­u­tive chef Ryan Dubasak has been mas­ter­ing the art of Ital­ian food for most of his life. At age 13 he was wash­ing dishes in a restau­rant his brother worked at when a chef from Florence, Italy, moved in. Dubasak jumped at the op­por­tu­nity to learn un­der the na­tive Ital­ian and later re­ceived more for­mal train­ing at New­bury Col­lege.

“I was taught from a young age to al­ways use fresh in­gre­di­ents,” Dubasak said.“It’s the Ital­ian way!”

Ev­ery­thing at Luna Bella is fresh. They make their own salad dress­ings, bread, sauce and stocks. The veal stock takes up to 96 hours be­fore it is ready to cook with.

“We show up early and work hard to make sure ev­ery­thing we do is some­thing to be proud of.” said Dubasak

Dubasak says “we” a lot, re­fer­ring to his sous chef, a Hot Springs na­tive, David Gar­cia.

“He is re­ally my right hand man. He makes all of our desserts from scratch and I re­ally couldn’t do it with­out him.” said Dubasak. Ryan Dubasak Ex­ec­u­tive Chef Luna Bella

What in­spired you to be­come a chef? When I was 13 I got a job as a dish­washer at a restau­rant my brother worked at. A chef moved in from Florence, Italy, and I got the op­por­tu­nity the learn un­der him.

Best thing you have ever eaten:

Osso Bucco Best cook­ing ad­vice you have ever re­ceived:

Al­ways use fresh in­gre­di­ents

Fa­vorite in­gre­di­ent:

Fresh thyme and but­ter

Fa­vorite Restau­rant:

Wild Bites (for­merly Cafe la For­tuna) in Bos­ton, Mass.

Some­thing few people know about you:

I’m a New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots fan

Fa­vorite thing about Hot Springs: It is very re­laxed and friendly. We also have a good va­ri­ety of home­made food in town.

Pho­tos by RICHARD RAS­MUSSEN

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