“Real Housewives of Miami” Ana Quincoces on breaking up and moving on

What do a tragic divorce, a telenovela star, heated confrontations and Cuban cooking all have in common? They’re all part of Ana Quincoces’s plot line on the hit show ‘The Real Housewives of Miami,” and according to the star, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I thought I had a really good story to tell with my divorce situation and teaching how to do divorce the right way, if there’s such a thing,” confides Quincoces, whose struggle to make her divorce final with ex-Robert Rodriguez played a major part of this season’s drama. “So I think that’s why I was willing to tell my story – and people are finding it inspiration to some extent. I’m humbled by that.”

Quincoces, an attorney who still maintains a practice in her hometown of Miami, is using the “Real Housewives” as a platform to share what she calls her passion: cooking up Cuban food in the kitchen. Voted the “hottest chef” in Miami by Eater magazine last year, Quincoces is a force in the kitchen and, true to her personality on the show, isn’t afraid to hold back.

“I didn’t do ‘Housewives’ and then write [a] book,” Quincoces explains. “I’m parlaying this into a new career.”

A moment of calm during a recent episode of "The Real Housewives of Miami." Pictured: Ana Quincoces (l) and Lea Black (r).

A moment of calm during a recent episode of “The Real Housewives of Miami.” Pictured: Ana Quincoces (l) and Lea Black (r). (Photo/Charles Trainor for Bravo)

Quincoces self-published her first cookbook “Cuban Chicks Can Cook” in 2005 and is now in the midst of working on two follow-up volumes, one of which is a collection of recipes from legendary Miami eatery Versailles. She’s also working on a line of Cuban-style mojo marinades. (“You can put it on anything and its going to taste great,” she says.)

Publicizing her celebrity chef status, Quincoces says, is her main focus on the show – not the petty drama. Being a “mean girl” isn’t her thing, her infamous confrontation with fellow castmate Karent Sierra notwithstanding.

“I think she’s a tricky person,” says Quincoces of Sierra. “I’m very real. I’m not always going to be happy and I won’t always have a smile on my face. It’s hard, because you just want to shake her and ask her to show some emotion.”

And while she’s on the subject of Sierra, Quincoces wants to set the record straight.

“I was never interested in her boyfriend,” she says of Sierra’s ex-boyfriend telenovela star Rodolfo Jimenez. “The fact that I was ambushed that way; we just got off to a rough start.”

Even so, at the end of the day, Quincoces is very clear about what she wants: a chance to share Cuban cuisine with foodies across the country.

“They say when you do what you love, you never work another day in your life – so I’d like to not work another day.”

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