‘South Park’ creators appoint Dana Rodriguez as executive chef of Casa Bonita I FOX31 Denver

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR) — The creators of the controversial Comedy Central series “South Park” and the new owners of Casa Bonita have picked a local trailblazer to run the sopapilla-dispensing kitchen that closed its doors nearly 20 months ago.

Dana Rodriguez, who moved to Colorado in 1992 from Chihuahua, Mexico, will take the reins to oversee the kitchen redesign, menu redevelopment and general overhaul of the storied restaurant, once thought to be forever gone.

The goal for the coming months, as Rodriguez puts it, is to “improve everything, but change nothing.”

Dana “Loca” Rodriguez – Executive Chef at Casa Bonita

Rodriquez told FOX31 the cafeteria-style lines will stay the same, but all of the food will be made in-house. She plans to keep the famous sopapillas, as well, but will possibly add to them.

“This is a dream come true,” Rodriguez said. “Casa Bonita means so much to so many people here in Denver.”

Starting as a dishwasher, Rodriguez worked her way up the local restaurant hierarchy, which included time in the culinary trenches at two of Denver’s more prominent eateries, Rioja and Bistro Vendome alongside James Beard award-winning Chef and Owner Jennifer Jasinski.

She has since opened two of her own restaurants, both of which are separately named Super Mega Bien and Work & Class, and now carries the honor of having been thrice nominated for a James Beard Award.

In addition to her role at Casa Bonita and her two businesses, a third restaurant, Cantina Loca, will open later this year.

There has not been an official announcement about Casa Bonita reopening their doors, but the future looks likely to have a few more jobs for cave divers in it, and that is certainly the splash in the bucket Coloradans crave.

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