An Interview with Molly Montaño, Tasting Room Manager, Vara Wines, and Javier Montaño, Executive Chef, Vara Wines
Local Hero: Best Food Truck
Photos by Stephanie Cameron
Malagueña’s Latin Tapas was a Spanish and Latin American inspired food truck, owned and operated by husband-wife team Molly and Javier Montaño. The duo recently joined forces with Vara Wines to set up a food program at the winery’s lovely property in Albuquerque. You can now find their Spanish-style tapas five days a week.
Although Malagueña’s won the Local Hero award for Best Food Truck, you’ve now transitioned into an exciting new food venture. Tell us a bit about what you’re up to with Vara Wines.
For the last year, Malagueña’s has teamed up with Vara Wines to do brunch and paella nights. Because Vara Wines is growing, they offered us a permanent home. They are making Spanish-style wines. We are making Spanish-inspired food. It was a natural fit.
Why is sourcing locally important to you and what are some of your favorite local ingredients?
We started as a very small business. We believe in what other small businesses are doing locally and want to support the local economy and fellow business folk. We work with producers such as Lone Mountain Wagyu Beef, M’Tucci’s, Vida Verde Farm, and Krepfl Orchard.
What’s the best part about working with your spouse? And the worst?
Getting to spend time together. In our past we worked opposite schedules and had very little time. Sometimes (very rarely) we get on each other’s nerves.
What’s your food philosophy?
We believe in no fuss, all flavor; cooking from scratch; and making people happy.
If you could throw a dinner party with anyone, living or dead, who would you invite and what would you serve?
The late Anthony Bourdain. Chef Suzette Gresham (of Acquerello in San Francisco). We would invite our two dads (both deceased). We would serve gazpacho, ceviche, and buckwheat crusted sweetbreads in a saffron cava butter sauce with caviar.
What are some of your favorite Vara wine/Malagueña’s food pairings?
Ceviche Mixto and Garnacha Rosado
Steak ‘n Eggs and Tinto Especial Lot #13
Spanish French Toast with Cava Silverhead Brut
Vara is working on exciting expansion plans and we will keep you posted. We are thrilled to be a part of this growth.
Is there anything else you would like to share with edible readers?
Come see us at Vara—we are serving up hot food Wednesday through Saturday from 5pm to 8pm and Sunday from 12pm to 3pm.
315 Alameda NE, Albuquerque, 505-898-6280, varawines.com