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Meet the Chef: Frank Magana

Updated: Apr 30

If your taste buds dance at the thought of Spanish delicacies like tapas and Paellas, then allow me to introduce you to the culinary genius behind these mouthwatering creations—Frank Magana, the mastermind behind Culture Shock Bistro. 

Frank Magana
Frank Magana

Frank's journey with Paella spans over two decades, beginning with humble experiments in his own kitchen and blossoming into the vibrant tapestry of flavors he brings to life today. From his early days at his restaurant, Picazo, in Prosser to his return to Tri-Cities to open Culture Shock Bistro food truck and catering service, Frank's passion for Paella knows no bounds

Cooking Paella with Frank

Cooking with Frank is an experience unlike any other. Whether he's enchanting guests at private events or adding his flavorful touch to the summer Wine Village market, Frank's enthusiasm for Paella is infectious. And despite his expertise, he's always eager to share his secrets, urging everyone to take a leap of culinary faith. As he once told me, "Don't be afraid to just try!" Frank’s advice if you can’t find all the ingredients for a Paella recipe, substitute! Use a different type of seafood, or use just beef and chicken!  The one thing you don’t want to substitute is the rice – Paella rice is a special rice from spain that is a short grain rice without much starch.  For us Tri-Citians,we can find this Bomba Rice at Yokes or Fred Meyers.   And the trick is – don't stir it!  Once you add the rice to the pan, cook it down but don’t stir! 

Frank's Paella

Paella and Wine Pairings

But what's Paella without the perfect wine pairing? Here's where Frank's expertise truly shines. As an assistant winemaker at Palencia Wines, Frank's collaboration with Victor Palencia elevates both his cuisine and the wines he pairs with it. Learning more about each of the varietals and how they are made helps him spot the perfect wine to pair with his food. And in return, he brings a culinary tasting perspective into the conversation with Victor as they discuss the wines and the wine blends.

So, what's Frank's recommendation for the ultimate wine and Paella pairing? Spanish varietals, of course! Whether you're indulging in a meat-heavy dish or savoring the ocean's bounty, Frank has the perfect wine to accompany your meal. 

If your dish is meat heavy, mostly beef and chicken, then pair it with a Tempranillo, like Palencia’s 2018 El Viñador Tempranillo.  And if your dish is more seafood, then go with an Albariño like the 2021 El Viñador Albariño which won Gold at the Washington State Wine Awards. Or maybe even try a Palencia Sparkling Albariño!(


Palencia Albariño 

Where to find Frank

Where can you experience Frank's culinary magic firsthand? Look no further than Culture Shock Bistro, nestled next to Palencia Wines at the Kennewick Columbia Gardens Wine Village (421 E Columbia Dr, Kennewick, WA 99336). Swing by Thursday through Saturday to savor a delectable shrimp or vegan Paella bowl, expertly paired with Palencia's finest wines. 

Prefer a more intimate affair? Treat yourself to a personalized Paella dinner for six inside the Palencia Wines tasting room. Simply reach out to Palencia Wines (509-820-3993) or message Culture Shock Bistro on Facebook (@cultureshockbistro) to reserve your spot. 

And for those special occasions that demand a touch of culinary flair, why not invite Frank to cater for your next event? From anniversaries to birthdays, Frank's Paella is guaranteed to elevate any celebration. 

Frank with his palencia dish

Keep an eye out for Frank at local events and winemaker's dinners, or follow Culture Shock Bistro on Facebook for updates on his latest culinary adventures. With Frank at the helm, every meal becomes a journey of flavor and discovery. Trust me, you won't want to miss it!

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