My parents migrated from Spain in the 60’s, making my brother and I first generation Americans. 🇺🇸 When my father landed in New York in 1964, representing his culinary college at the New York World’s Fair, he never realized his destiny would bring him to Baltimore to help open it’s very first and (very) authentic Spanish restaurant, El Tio Pepe. He went on to work there for years, before opening La Sangria in 1988.
Sadly, after just a few short (and successful) years, a fire took the business, leading him to focus on his real passion project, establishing a "Tapas Bar” in Baltimore. To his dismay, the project never came to fruition, and he moved on to work at the best food establishments in Baltimore, before retiring at 80 years old in 2019.
My mother, Juana, was always the culinary creator at home, giving my brother and I an early taste for Spanish cuisine, from tortilla Española and paella, to garlic shrimp and chorizo, jamon iberico and manchego.
During yearly summer-long vacations to my parent’s homeland, I developed and enhanced my taste for Spanish food, culture and music. My deep Spanish roots and adoration for my family and culture have always been and continue to be an inspiration for me.
Fast forward a few years and...
After graduating from Mercy High School and Johns Hopkins University, I embarked on a corporate career in human and veterinary medicine as an executive business development specialist and trainer.
I spent most of my 20-year career traveling across the US, but the pandemic brought my objectives to a screeching halt. It was during this time that I developed a business plan to spearhead a passion project that I had concepted nearly a decade ago; one that encompassed all of my acquired skills, passions, inspirations, hobbies, and dreams.
Lucky for me, my dad had given me a business plan and menu a few years back for keepsake. Remember his passion project that never came to be?
My dad and mom continue to help cook and launch recipes for the truck. They are 83 and 80 years old respectively. Remember, never give up on your dreams!