Local Talent

by Christian Bryant


Mike Millanhead chef & new father


Mike Millan, head chef of Winston-Salem’s Rana Loca restaurant, grew up around great food. “There wasn’t much fast food nearby so every meal was a good one,” he laughs. Millan, who is of Cuban descent, was raised in a big Latin community nearly 700 miles away in Hialeah, a township of Miami, Fla. In an interesting twist, it was Millan’s Japanese uncle who got him into culinary arts and he hasn’t looked back since. Millan’s Florida culinary experience includes Don Shula’s Steakhouse and Hotel in Miami, the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, 3030 Ocean at the Marriot Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale and Turberry Hotel in Aventura. “My whole career, I’ve been really lucky,” Millan says. At a friend’s suggestion, he and his wife Michelle moved to Winston- Salem to pursue a new restaurant endeavor. In February, the couple gave birth to their first son, Maximus. “It’s been a lot easier than expected,” Millan says. “He’s super chill! He makes us look like rock stars.” Rana Loca will host a Latin night with the band Solstice 7 at 8 p.m. this Friday. For an extensive list of weekly specials and events, visit or call 336.722.9911.