Chiles Rellenos (poblano peppers stuffed with cheese), red chile tamales, beef soup, caldillo duranguense (stew made of beef with tomatoes, peppers and potatoes.)
Estela playfully describes her journey with food as starting “because of necessity!” As Estela’s children grew older, Estela decided to move from Mexico City back to Vicente Guerrero, where she believed her family would have a better and safer life. There were a few opportunities that would introduce Estela to the culinary world. Her friend, a hotel owner, hired Estela to cook there. She also understood the need for the busy people of Vincente Gerrero to have home-cooked meals to take home after a long day of work. As a result, Estela would sell food ready-made, by weight. People could buy a litre of beans, rice, chicken, and then go home and heat it up. When her kids were ready to go to University, they moved to Durango, the state capital. She successfully continued her business there and was able to provide ready-made food in the bustling city.
Culinary business dream
Ever since moving to the Greater Boston area, Estela has cooked at several area Mexican restaurants including Somerville’s Tu y Yo. Estela tells us about her initial experience in the culinary world here in Somerville, “I had come to help take care of my brother who had gotten sick and a woman I knew found out I was a cook, so she brought me to Tu y Yo and introduced me to the owner. He asked me if I knew how to make tamales and I said, ‘That’s my forte’ But I didn’t hear anything back from him for a while. And living here is so expensive! I was about to leave and go back to Mexico when he called me and asked me to come in for a cooking trial. So I did and they hired me.” Estela now runs a small catering business, Comida Autentica Mexicana, as well as teaching Nibble cooking classes.
In her words
“I love to cook and I love when people enjoy my food. It motivates me to make it the best I can, the most authentic I can, even though there are ingredients that are difficult or impossible to find here.”