Hacienda Mexican Restaurant is Cooking Up Something New With Executive Chef Charles Votava
Hacienda Mexican Restaurant Welcomes New Executive Chef, Charles Votava
There’s something different – a little something special – going on in the kitchen at Hacienda Mexican restaurant these days. And it’s not a new piece of equipment, or (just) a new recipe. Instead, it’s a new member of the Hacienda family: Executive Chef Charles Votava, shaking things up and bringing an exciting new energy to the place.
For a restaurant to succeed for more than 45 years (and counting!) it has to have both a commitment to honoring its history, and a willingness to change and grow as the years pass. Hacienda Mexican Restaurant has been a St. Louis favorite for authentic Mexican flavors and festive atmosphere since 1968, but we don’t want to just rest on our laurels. We’re continually updating our approach and our menu to provide great food – from our family to yours.
Chef Charles joined the Hacienda team in December 2015, bringing with him a varied background and a commitment to excellence. If you’ve tried one of our recent seasonal specials, from February’s Steak Carnaval and Pastel de Papa Dulce con Puerco (slow-roasted Mexican-style pork on top of a pan-seared sweet potato black bean cake) to this month’s Chipotle Agave Chicken and our first-ever Chocolate Tamale, then you’ve already seen some of Chef Charles’ handiwork.
While most chefs tend to focus on either desserts or savory fare, Chef Charles is a rare example of a “fork to spoon” chef – as comfortable filling an eclair as he is grilling a steak. He grew up surrounded by a family that loved food, and wanted to be a part of everything, whether it was helping his mother bake wedding cakes or helping his father prepare pig roasts.
Chef Charles brought the same passion for start-to-finish cooking to his schooling, graduating Magna cum Laude from L’Ecole Culinaire and studying under world-famous chefs at The French Pastry School. He’s worked as a bartender, pastry cook, garde manger, and kitchen manager in restaurants from the Raquet Club LaDue to the Fox & Hound Sports Tavern.
We’re thrilled to have Chef Charles leading the Hacienda kitchen. His creativity and love of whole foods, prepared from scratch, combined with our history of creating authentic, high-quality Mexican-inspired dishes, is an unstoppable combination. Whether you’ve been a devoted Hacienda fan for decades or you’re stopping in for the first time, we think you’re going to love what we’re cooking up.