Chef Peter Lee puts local spin on Spanish ‘pinxtos’

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A new restaurant in Santa Barbara is trying to connect State Street to the Funk Zone through tapas and sangria.

Chef Peter Lee left a French restaurant in Las Vegas to head up the kitchen of Loquita, a Spanish restaurant with a California tilt.

He met up with KCRW at the Santa Barbara Farmers Market to pick up produce to incorporate into bite-size, flavor-packed appetizers known as “pinxtos” in northern Spain.

Loquita chef Peter Lee shows off delicata squash and shishito peppers from Ellwood Canyon Farms. (Kathryn Barnes/KCRW)

Chef Peter Lee’s Roasted Delicata Squash Pinxto:

(Kathryn Barnes/KCRW)

1. Wash delicata squash and pat dry

2. Cut in half and scoop out insides

3. Cut into half moons (1/2” thick)

4. Put EVOO in saute pan and get to just below smoke point

5. Add delicata squash and make sure it’s 1 single layer, seasoned with salt

6. Roast in 400 degree oven for 3 minutes

Delicata squash pinxtos (Skyler Gamble/Loquita)

7. Take pan out and turn each squash over, ensuring it’s nicely caramelized, if not, roast a bit longer

8. Add some salt, crushed garlic, fresh thyme and butter

9. Roast in oven for another 3 minutes

10. Take pan out of oven and place squash on wire rack to remove excess oil/fat

11. Wrap bite-size slices of roasted squash with jamon serrano and sherry vinegar, and poke each with a toothpick.

12. Enjoy!

To check out all our past farmers market segments, head to