Nolan-Ryan continues to enjoy the best of everything. She was born in
Miami Beach; during whimsical childhood days, she spent storybook time
at her dads casino in pre-Castro Havana, learned to cook and sing
from a mother she adores, and, after years in the Bay area around San
Francisco, chose to live in our paradise and own one of the regions
most popular cafes and highly-regarded catering businesses.
Never content with status quo, Lenore, the quintessential
high-energy entrepreneur has embarked on new horizons with even bigger
goals brimming with excitement and electricity. Someday very, very
soon, Lenore revealed, studio taping sessions will begin for a national
television debut of a cooking show titled, The Singing Chef,
a unique Food Network format before a live audience. There
is, however, an original twist. Lenore will be singing. I have a
good voice and sing anyway when Im cooking. Out of the blue, a television
producer heard about me and came knocking on the café door. We
reached an agreement and we should be starting up shortly.
a voice containing equal portions of Doris Day, Ella Fitzgerald and Celine
Deion combined with Lenores culinary talent and stage presence,
The Singing Chef, has significant upfront momentum, perhaps
more than many established celebrity chef programs enjoyed at their inception.
We are excited and believe the show will be very well received by
television audiences and viewers, Lenore said.
Gina Lenores Café has become a prominent South Florida landmark,
Fort Lauderdales unofficial culinary headquarters where locals and
visitors enjoy imaginative dishes prepared and served with generous portions
of love songs, Broadway standards, laughter and omnipresent good will.
Customer favorites include tuna lime salad, better than moms
chicken salad, grilled eggplant parmigiana and the South Florida legend,
Lenores homemade meatloaf sandwich. Everything is served on freshly
Gina Lenores Cafe was originally a pizza restaurant. As a new owner,
Lenore decided to keep the name Gina and combine it with hers, while adding
a greatly expanded menu to accommodate a diverse customer base and satisfy
sophisticated taste preferences. I am part of a solid cooking heritage,
said Lenore, where excellence was only the beginning point.
That means the freshest ingredients, hands-on kitchen preparation under
my supervision, and an elegant presentation that symbolically tells every
customer they are deeply appreciated.
Lenore has earned a reputation as one of the regions most acclaimed
caterers. I never use chafing dishes, she explains. My
bowls, serving trays and utensils are beautifulnever generic-- and
enhance the overall dining experience. Our catering environment is always
equal to our highest kitchen and presentation standards. In addition,
Lenore has the remarkable advantage of wine and food pairing expertise
and decorates dinner tables with panache.
said that her success is based on fundamentals. Just imagine what
an entrée would become if a basic spice or herb was negligently
omitted or disproportionately included. That will never happen in our
kitchen. High standards create happy customers and repeat business
Her love of food, appreciation for fine lifestyles and gift of song are
all attributed by Lenore to her parents. My dads name was
Duke Nolan. He was handsome and refined. My mother is straight out of
a classic Hollywood moviea glamorous and stylish lady who loves
Whether in the kitchen, at a clients dinner party or relaxing with
friends, Lenore honors her rich heritage. She also thrives on new challenges.
If the prospects of a television cooking show are daunting, it doesnt
show. I was literally raised in a show business environment. If
I had not chosen cooking when I was 18, I would have gone into music and
Lenores loyal and talented staff reflects sound management and visionary
leadership. Her customer base is large and impressively loyal. As a generous
and productive citizen, she has few peers.
Will Lenore leave her paradise when The Singing Chef becomes
a television hit? This is home, responded Lenore. We
might even do a few shows here in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea. Id love
to share our paradise with the entire country, and show them how to live
better with great food, fine wine and wonderful songs.
Gina Lenore's Café
228 E. Commercial Boulevard
Visit the Lenore
Nolan-Ryan Cooking School & Catering Company located
in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Florida to sample Lenore's culinary magic online!
Then sign up for some of her cooking classes! Your tummy will thank you
and so will your guests. Remember, as Lenore always says, "The art
of entertaining is knowing who to call. Click the signature to visit Lenore's
Published Sunday, August. 31, 2003 in
The Miami Herald (reprinted with permission):
Fresh cooking, fresh ideas
at Gina Lenore's
BY ROCHELLE KOFF
darlin','' Leonore Nolan-Ryan calls out as a customer walks through the
door of this tiny cafe. Former town official Jim Pollock, now chaplain
for Lauderdale-by-the-Sea's Fire Department, is one of the many who stop
by daily to see what's cooking.
''I love the shrimp scampi pizza,'' he says, ogling the daily lineup of
gourmet pies at Gina Lenore's Café on Commercial Boulevard: double-crusted
vegetable focaccia; jerk chicken; chicken Parmesan; roasted garlic.
''Everything's always fresh and she's always cooking something different,''
It's been Nolan-Ryan's passion. Born in Miami Beach, she spent 20 years
in the restaurant-catering business in San Francisco. She returned to
South Florida five years ago and bought Gina's Café, adding her
Homemade soups (like chicken broth spiked with lime and cilantro, served
with fried tortilla sticks) are simmering on the stove, the display case
holds flavorful salads and she whips up sandwiches like grilled eggplant
Parmigiana and tuna lime salad.
But first the pizza, which held up well on the trip home. The jerk chicken
($2.50 a slice), had a nice kick, garnished with carrots and fresh greens
dressed with a little lime juice, canola oil and cilantro. Ultra-thin
tomato slices sprinkled with basil graced the creamy ricotta-mozzarella-Parmesan
pie ($2.50). And the shrimp scampi ($3.50) is a rich treat, teamed with
Other highlights: a beefy, cheesy meatball parm sub; smoky grilled eggplant
and peppers and delicious desserts.
Devouring a slice of strawberry-rhubarb pie, a 13-year-old confessed,
``On a scale of one to 10, I give this a 15.''
Follow the arrow to learn more about
the handcrafted cheeses of Sweet Grass Dairy . . .
or . . .
. . wines from North Georgia's Three Sisters Vineyard.
Some more exceptional Chefs
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