Salcido Esparza’s prolific creativity is reflected in her journals overflowing with restaurant concepts, recipes and research. She traveled east to work in a bank and then in sales for a cosmetics company. "The guy said: I guess maybe everybody has their way, but I think the best, concise advice I can give you is to look at your parents and then beat them.". To this day I’m not certain that Esparza knew what she wanted to do in that spot. "Honestly, there was garbage up to her ankles inside," Salomon says of the building on 16th Street just south of Thomas Road.

There wasn't a name for the things she was doing so she called it 'modern Mexican cuisine.' "I've always been a sick person, since I was little," Esparza says. For more stories that matter, subscribe to azcentral.com. Phoenix, AZ 85034, Barrio Café Gran Reserva While we sit together, she still monitors the deliveries coming in, signs a few bills and makes decisions impacting the kitchen, seamlessly moving from English to Spanish and back again. "There's no right or wrong," she added. The neighborhood, known for being Phoenix's quirky art district, is an eclectic mix of galleries, boutiques, coffee shops and salons that stretches from Interstate 10 to Seventh Street. 1301 W. Grand Ave. One of the best and most regularly served dishes on the menu is a simple but elegant bite of queso Oaxaqueño wrapped in hoja santa, a fragrant Mexican herb. “I came out of the hospital and I faced a choice to crumple up on the floor or move on,“ Salcido Esparza reflects. I’d also say salt, not table salt with iodine but all different types of salt with their unique flavor profiles. Support local journalism. "I imported him. For three months the pair drove from Arizona to Texas to North Carolina, learning about the roots of barbecue by eating. Barrio Avion Airport NOT related to BARRIO QUEEN in any way Barrio Cafe Gran Reserva is perched on a triangular downtown Phoenix corner where McKinley Street intersects Grand Avenue. Some of her travels include research for a book she hopes to author with help from culinary writer Cristina Potters. Furthermore, I told developers I wouldn’t open a place there unless they let me paint a mural in the airport. They were among the most popular at the event. I just liked her. Esparza, a compulsive photo-taker, captured images of the woman and her family killing, skinning and roasting the thick-necked lizards, promising never to publish the secrets of their family's culinary art. Work on her current book continues as well. "It's obvious to me the origins of American barbecue is Mexico," Esparza says.

“I had more money from carnitas than I almost knew what to do with,” recalls Esparza. ", "But, you know, we got those five stars and I just had to adjust it to the time, the era," she continues. "It was a disgusting, despicable place. Lastly, and very important, any type of liqueur, whether it’s wine or tequila. Although we had plenty of great restaurants here serving one style of Mexican food heavily influenced by the American Southwest, I wanted to introduce people to the food I had eaten backpacking my way through Mexico.”. The two have been cooking side-by-side for more than a decade, since Salcido began washing dishes at Esparza's award-winning Phoenix restaurant Barrio Cafe when he was 15 years old. Chef Silvana makes cooking inspired Mexican food look positively bad. So it's a good thing. She makes sure I am well taken care of and she makes certain that I do what I have to do to stay healthy.”. So Esparza set out to discover why she got the disease, first by having her DNA analyzed and then by following the trail of her ancestry. "I'm writing a book and I'm writing a menu. In 2002, however, Mexican food in Phoenix meant a certain thing. Always the dreamer and conjurer of ideas, even while working at these jobs she started her own cleaning business because it looked simple enough.

At Esparza's most recent restaurant, art is much more than decor; it's a part of the restaurant's identity. "I don't even think she asked me, I just offered her money," Salomon says. The place was a disaster. "If I don't teach them, how are they going to have that opportunity for that legacy?". "Everybody has to do what they have to do.". As many young people do, she set off to be on her own. It’s still in the planning stages, although Esparza did debut some of the dishes at Phoenix’s Tacolandia this past winter.

That idea blossomed into some of the best public artwork in Phoenix. The trip changed my life.”, Silvana returned home to Phoenix with a desire “to disprove the myth that Mexican food is all about chips and salsa, yellow cheese and chimichangas.”, “I wanted to serve people real Mexican food. It’s a humble structure, small and clearly well-loved. It’s amazing – now I’m getting hungry!”, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem name daughter, : Silvana Salcido Esparza was born in Los Angeles, California and grew up in the San Joaquin Valley. Born into a family of bakers who can trace their connection to the food business back at least 800 years, Esparza’s early years were spent toying with food but not thinking seriously about going into the family business. In 2011 Esparza announced plans for expansion. Esparza is a little more mindful of her physical needs and takes the time to rest and smell the roses a little bit more than before. I’m a big fan of pork, but the flavors and complexity of slow roasted poblano peppers with Serrano, jalapeños, tomatillos and other green peppers, cooked for hours is incredible.

“I’m a by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of person. After graduating, Esparza took time to travel through Mexico. After returning to the States and working for awhile, Esparza had her vision on 16th Street and the idea for Barrio Café was born in 2002. I believed in her and I wanted to help.". She also operated two concepts at the airport, one in Terminal 4 and a second in Terminal 3. Once in California, her family established a legacy as the most prominent bakers in the Los Angeles area, who supplied jelly donuts to their American neighbors and freshly baked pan de manteca to the agricultural migrant workers.

At 10 years old she contracted the Epstein-Barr virus and experienced severe complications from the disease. Because Esparza wanted the money to last, she chose to backpack through Mexico rather than hang out in big cities in fancy hotels eating at trendy restaurants. "She's an artist. Bread is the beginning of everything.”, Current passion project: “I’d have to say Barrio Queen, which we just opened in December. Our conversation is peppered with little life lessons in the form of Mexican proverbs. })(jQuery); Donations go toward services to improve the lives of people with disabilities.

“My food got a little bolder and spicier,” says Silvana Salcido Esparza, the chef who launched Barrio Café with business partner Wendy Gruber in 2002. Esparza asks.

Esparza did not seem to be a prime candidate for sarcoidosis: The disease most often appears in 20- to 40-year-olds (she was older) and is much more common in African Americans than any other group (Esparza identifies as Mexican). One day she called and asked me to meet her at a broken-down restaurant on 16th Street just south of Thomas. She comes from a long line of cooks and bakers and was trained by her grandmother and parents, in business and in the kitchen.

Salcido takes a seat on a stool to eat. From time to time, sarcoidosis flare ups knock her off her feet. I ate foods I had never tasted or seen before. When she opened Barrio Café, she made regular trips to Tijuana to ensure that her kitchen had only the finest organic meats and vegetables for her menu, which reflected her own journeys through Mexico. Her mother took her to physicians who prescribed a plant-based diet that aided her recovery. PHOENIX — Award-winning Barrio Cafe owner Silvana Salcido Esparza tells her story in new ads for the Joe Biden presidential campaign airing on TV and social media in Arizona and Florida. Not long after opening Gran Reserva in 2016 doctors diagnosed her with sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease that's forced her to take a step back from the stove.

It’s Sunday and I am in the supermarket walking aimlessly up and down the aisles hoping for an epiphany about what to make for dinner. "I believed her. I like it spicy and crispy. "I see my (expletive) all over the place and I know how they roll," Esparza says. Doctors told her she had a rare chronic disease: sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease affecting 600,000 people worldwide. Diners expected free chips and salsa with their overstuffed burros, served with a side of refried beans draped in yellow cheese. Between bites, they chat about plans to travel to Florida the following month. Esparza’s brother worked on the construction. "We're prepared for three paychecks to core staff and after that we'll have to see," she said. "I thought, I need an office job when I grow up," Esparza says. I am not the 1% of my Barrio world.". Arizona and Florida are viewed as swing states in the presidential election, with large Latino populations that could make a difference in the outcome. The public art project started with this single mural and today includes dozens of works throughout metro Phoenix and the neighborhood around Esparza's Barrio Cafe restaurant. Next to her and with the flick of a wrist, her nephew sautees four jumbo shrimp in a skillet.

After all, Silvana Salcido Esparza is a woman on a mission—a mission to change the way people think about Mexican food. The owners have continued to grow the brand and still use Esparza's recipes, though the chef no longer is associated with the restaurants. They scraped and painted. But she's an artist.".

In one of her earliest memories, she's 12 years old, covered in masa, helping her brothers and uncles make tortillas in a muggy kitchen. And it's still on the menu today. Esparza puts the plate on the restaurant's two-seat bar, leaning her elbows on the wooden top. "As a restaurant owner, if I go under I go under with them. by Joe Ability | Jun 30, 2017 | Community - LivAbility | 0 comments, By Jennifer LongdonPhoto by Loren Worthington. In the summer of 2018, the lanky 24-year-old traveled with Esparza during a three-month trip through the American South.

Smoke wafts toward the ceiling of the matchbox-size kitchen at Barrio Cafe Gran Reserva as chef Silvana Salcido Esparza cooks verdolagas over an … if ( number_hide_ads > 0 ) { In the back of her mind, she imagined writing a book. If the growing pandemic continues for more than about six weeks, however, Esparza says she'll have to reevaluate her ability to continue to pay her staff.