Following an O.C. Top Chef

We spent a day in the life of Amar Santana

From Charlie Palmer to Broadway to Bravo TV’s “Top Chef” season 13 and now the dazzling new Vaca, Amar Santana continues sharing his energetic sprint to success in upbeat social media posts. We spent a day with him, capturing the events he rarely shares on Facebook.


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8:40 a.m.   After a month-long gym hiatus during the launch of Vaca, Santana returns for a demanding workout under the unyielding eye of coach Mike Molina at Stark Irvine. “See what I do to look this good?” he jokes.


IMG_8424 11:30 a.m.    Post gym, it’s off to OC Mix for the day’s first fill-up: cappuccino, a double espresso, and water. “This is why I sometimes forget to eat until late in the day.” A fast pic and post for his 4,362 (and counting) Instagram followers.


IMG_84601:30 p.m.  At Vaca, Santana chats up the handyman who arrives to fine-tune the new kitchen. “Everything is shiny and new, but some adjustments can’t be predicted until the kitchen is really humming,” Santana says.


IMG_85783:58 p.m.    While Broadway staffers prep for dinner service, Santana tends to the pasta machine repair. Unsuccessfully. “This kitchen is older and used. Things wear out. But I love Broadway, it’s my baby. It has my name on it.”


IMG_86184:55 p.m.    Santana checks the stock reduction while holding a fresh hammachi he’ll fillet for sashimi with citrus miso dressing and avocado sorbet, a signature appetizer. The dinner hour is closing in and he has a long night ahead.

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