Miguel Vidal’s passion for cooking began with his passion for family. Growing up in San Antonio, Texas, Miguel was raised in a home where gathering around a BBQ pit has a been a long standing family tradition for get togethers and holidays. All family members have a role in creating the menu and preparing “made from scratch” dishes including hand rolled flour tortillas, salsa, guacamole, cilantro, and lime which are always a family favorite when accompanying the BBQ. Miguel springs this spirit and tradition to Valentina’s.
An athletic scholarship to play soccer for St. Edwards University is what brought Miguel to Austin, Texas. Miguel has been playing soccer since 1984 and is as passionate about the game as he is about food. Before his dream of being the owner of his own restaurant became a reality, Miguel has worked in food service since he was 15 years old, beginning at a local pizza place in San Antonio and working his way up to General Manager at Ranch 616 in the heart of downtown Austin. After perfecting his skills at Ranch 616, and with the encouragement of its owners, Miguel pursued his dream and opened a small Food Trailer behind Star Bar on 6th Street in Austin, showcasing his family’s traditional BBQ menu as well as the family atmosphere. Miguel has taken his family’s core values and applied them in the work environment creating a tightly knit family who prides themselves with preparing great food for every occasion. Miguel, with his wife and business partner, Modesty, own and operate the Food Trailer today which is now located on Manchaca Rd in South Austin. Not only do Miguel and Modesty work at the trailer, but so do a few of his siblings and cousins, although with other staff which truly makes Valentina’s a family business.
Since its opening in February 2013, Miguel has been featured in publications such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bon Appetite Magazine, and in the Texas Monthly Top 50 BBQ. He has also made appearances on local news stations, the Travel Channel, and the Food Network, with his most recent speaking appearance on KJBJ’s morning radio show, Dudley and Bob.
Miguel continues to work towards his dream of building a full scale family restaurant and destination location in Austin, Texas. And of course, while doing so, everything is Hecho con Amor.