“In my house food has always had a medicinal purpose.” Salcido Esparza said. })(jQuery); Donations go toward services to improve the lives of people with disabilities. The test was administered by a health care professional while Esparza was in her car, she says. Esparza along with local artist Moises decided to beautify what were normally graffiti-vandalized walls around the neighborhood. Her mother took her to physicians who prescribed a plant-based diet that aided her recovery. “I came out of the hospital and I faced a choice to crumple up on the floor or move on,“ Salcido Esparza reflects. I’m also opening a restaurant in Phoenix International Airport, which will open this May. While opening her newest restaurant, Barrio Gran Reserva in 2016, she became ill and was hospitalized. That's when things went south. The place called to her. "I don't like people to tell me their story," Esparza says, sitting in the dining room at Barrio Cafe Gran Reserva. “It’s part of the culture.”. And the huge assortment of tequilas. The chef says she decided to get tested for the virus on Tuesday evening. "Sick enough to know I'm sick and well enough to feel, well, the glass is still half full.". Lastly, and very important, any type of liqueur, whether it’s wine or tequila. Always the dreamer and conjurer of ideas, even while working at these jobs she started her own cleaning business because it looked simple enough. In addition to sharing the lessons she picked up during her adventures, it may explore Esparza's own family history. A handful of failed projects at times have distracted from her undeniable success. setTimeout(function () { bsaProContainer.fadeOut(); }, number_hide_ads * 1000); Chef Patricia Jinich on being Mexican-Jewish and reflecting her culture in the kitchen, Veteran educator, Carmen Farina, appointed next chancellor of NYC school system, JLo, Pitbull to shake World Cup opening ceremonies, Female “Carlos Santana” rocks out for clean water, civil rights, Speaking multiple languages may help to prevent dementia. I also love peppercorns and what they do for food. Mostly they sat obediently during my lectures counting the minutes until they could return to their knives and the stove while I rambled on about fruits and vegetables. There is no cure for sarcoidosis although following good health practices like sleeping, exercising and eating well are obviously important. She moved to Phoenix in 1996 to attend Scottsdale Culinary Institute. "I mourned that for a long time because it's my second baby.". I believed in her and I wanted to help.". We kept in touch after she graduated. 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. } I use a lot of tequila in my reductions, which with just a little splash, can change and enhance the profile of a dish. Out of a negative always comes a positive.". In the spring, soon after the pandemic shut down Valley restaurants, Esparza was giving away food to feed the community. Esparza found the woman who had opened her home to her nearly two decades before. Esparza’s brother worked on the construction. Her heritage is reflected back in each of her restaurants, in the local artists showcased in her décor and of course, in her food. Presiding over it all is five-time James Beard nominee Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza, a woman of warmth, talent and exacting standards. The place was a disaster. Having what can be a debilitating disease has not slowed her down. "She just saw me and she went, 'Y el libro?'" Phoenix, AZ 85014 "I'll worry about my wallet later," Esparza told The Arizona Republic on Wednesday. It's not the first storm Esparza and her nationally-recognized Barrio Cafe have had to weather in recent months. "The idea was 110% Silvana," Garcia says. She has to stay healthy to make sure that vision is realized. For Esparza, who will turn 60 this summer, leaving a legacy is not just an aspiration but a primary motivation for everything she does — inside the kitchen and out. Although Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego on Tuesday required all Phoenix restaurants to switch to takeout, drive-thru or delivery only, neither of Esparza's restaurants will offer those options. The faculty liked her. She is a blend, as most of us are. The rhythm of the process is mesmerizing and instantly brings Esparza back to her childhood, growing up in her family's bakery in California's San Joaquin Valley. The most wildly popular offering might have been Esparza's guacamole. 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. Silvana Salcido Esparza, known to many as a “badass” chef who stood up to our former sheriff and is not afraid to speak her mind, is actually a late bloomer. Pero lo bailado, nadie me lo quita.” Which she translates for me: “Once you’ve danced, no one can take that away from you.”. "She's an artist. Her former teacher agreed. But it was Esparza’s guacamole that placated most people and kept them coming back. 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.”. Next, it’s carried through metal tubes to a squat machine that shapes and bakes dozens of perfectly round disks every minute. I spent time with locals, learning their recipes. Esparza has been a semi-finalist for the James Beard Award for Best Chef Southwest seven times since 2010, recognized her work at three different restaurant concepts: Barrio Cafe, Barrio Urbano and Barrio Cafe Gran Reserva. 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. She does it in the kitchen. I don’t use it at the restaurant except for tamales, but at home, using lard occasionally is just incredible. With so many goals to accomplish I ask Salcido Esparza how she manages them all; how she keeps everything moving forward. The project drew so much attention that Garcia and Esparza started a nonprofit to handle the flood of inquiries for more murals around the city. As a public service, The Arizona Republic is offering coronavirus coverage relating to public safety free of charge. At first she thought it was just the daily grind of running restaurants so she retreated to her home in Rosarita, Mexico, to rest. Silvana Salcido Esparza, known to many as a “badass” chef who stood up to our former sheriff and is not afraid to speak her mind, is actually a late bloomer. The trees outside the restaurant's glass frontage are wrapped in colorful crocheted squares of fabric. All rights reserved. It was then that Esparza realized she needed to know more about the food business and about cooking so she made the decision to go to culinary school. But she's an artist.". A row of industrial corn grinders sits gaping along a back wall, extruding a steady tide of thick, yellow masa. She thought she'd open her second restaurant in Gilbert (the deal ultimately fell through and the space went to Joyride Taco House). Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza talks about her success in Phoenix and recognizing the importance of keeping her family tradition and culture alive. I was afraid I’d lose myself in San Francisco so I chose Phoenix.” It proved to be a fortuitous decision for her and for Phoenix because Esparza’s culinary concepts have helped to put Phoenix on the foodie map. "I don't even think she asked me, I just offered her money," Salomon says. 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. When she's not cooking at Barrio Cafe or Barrio Cafe Gran Reserva, you can often find Esparza traveling back and forth from Mexico to Phoenix. “I decided to move on.”. And the obsession extends beyond her own reputation. “Jo is my rock. When she came back, she called to ask Salomon to come check out a building in a neighborhood northeast of downtown Phoenix. She worked with Christopher Gross and for Aramark at the Convention Center and as the sous chef at The University Club.

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