Experience

the Passion

So where did Chef Carlos get his inspiration? What influences such passion for Spanish food and wine? Family. With a father that was a celebrated Mediterranean Chef and a mother that woke up and went to bed with the chickens, young Carlos Rivero had farming and cooking in his DNA... and wine in his blood. Passion wasn’t taught, it was lived. Every meal was a celebration of family and friends. Every meal was an expression of love. Welcome to Don Quijote!

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Carlos Rivero

Carlos was born in Pontevedra, Spain in a small village tucked into the lush green mountains of the region of Galicia. He inherited his fascination for cooking from his father who worked as a chef on an ocean liner. Carlos spent his early years in Madrid as an apprentice in several major hotels in the capital. In 1975, he opened his own restaurant/cafe in the Tetuan neighborhood of Madrid where he worked as a chef until he came to the United States in 1978. His dream was to open a restaurant here in the states and introduce to Americans the rich and varied cuisine of his native Spain. After several years of working and planning, the “impossible dream” came true and he opened Restaurante Don Quijote in 1985 in downtown Valparaiso. This establishment is, to this day, the only Spanish restaurant in the state of Indiana.

Chef Carlos of don Quijote
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OUR RESTAURANT

Don Quijote is a favorite in the Valparaiso area, and is even beloved by visitors from all around. Tapas are a huge hit, and Don Quijote serves that and much more in their authentic Spanish cuisine restaurant. With the owners hailing from Spain, the restaurant honors what it really means to be immersed in the most delicious parts of Spanish culture. Along with the food, the staff is incredibly polite and attentive. Don Quijote prides themselves on great customer service. Stop by soon and try some appetizing tapas, enticing family-style entrees, and tempting Spanish wine.

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Elena Jambrina

Elena is a native of the historic and picturesque town of Zamora, located in the northern Spanish region of Castile. She came to the United States in 1980 and began working at Restaurante Don Quijote in 1985 as a dessert chef. Her ability to replicate traditional Spanish dishes and desserts and her talent for innovation made her a valuable addition to the staff. In 1991, she became a partner in the business and assumed her present position of Assistant Chef and Business Manager.