It begins in Mexico City, where I was born and raised in the mostly happy home of a lower-middle class family. My mother was a fantastic and resourceful cook, and I started learning from her as soon as I was old enough to hold a knife and reach the stove. Although we didn’t have much money, both my parents were quite the gourmands – I like to say they raised me with a millionaire’s taste on a poor man’s budget. From them I inherited my passion for home cooking, fine food and wine, and most of all to appreciate what I have and not waste anything. Like my mother, I learned to make dinner out of nothing.
Because of my independent and adventurous nature, I moved to Austin, Texas in 1984. For 15 years I held different jobs in the service industry, working as a cook, baker, and server at various area restaurants, and later as a wine and spirits representative. I believe that my service industry experiences gave me a strong foundation and unique perspective that came in handy later as a food writer and restaurant reviewer.
After receiving my bachelor’s degree with honors in Anthropology and a minor in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas, I began combining my newfound love for writing and research with my cooking passion and heritage.
I published my first paid article in a fledgling Austin Monthly magazine in 2000, followed by 15 years writing for the Austin Chronicle. Today, I am widely published nationally and internationally, in English and Spanish.
I continue exploring my scholarly interests as an independent researcher of gastronomy and foodways, presenting at national and international conferences and workshops and sharing my knowledge of Mexican food and culture with scholars, colleagues, and chefs.
Since I traveled across Mexico with my family as a child, the seeds of wanderlust were planted at an early age. Through the years I have been lucky to visit many countries, always interested in the local cuisine, customs, and botany. I find usually find people and things that inspire me and entice me to write their stories and share these experiences with everyone.
I also found a calling in dog rescue, dedicating 10 years as a volunteer and foster parent with Austin Pets Alive! I am a strong advocate for animal rights and rescue, but I steer far away from the likes of PETA.