Interview no. 1731


Patricia Sweisferd


Meredith E. Abarca


El Paso Food Voices


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Summary of Interview

Patricia Sweisferd, a native of El Paso, shares how she has gone from growing up eating mostly canned food in the 1960s and 1970s, to discovering a passion for healthy, fresh quality food and wine while traveling through Europe. Her passion for food grew to the degree that after retirement from teaching, she enrolled at El Paso Community College’s Culinary Arts program. There she met a number of aspiring chefs and worked with some of them in local restaurants. Her story addresses what she sees as a changing phase of culinary options in El Paso where fresh food, quality dining and good wine is becoming part of El Paso’s landscape. In her recollections of food in El Paso, she mentions the following restaurants as marking a culinary difference in El Paso: Mustard Seed, with an extensive vegetarian menu; One Grub Community, with the only all plant-based menu in town; Zinos’, with a focus on fresh Mediterranean flair; Tabla, with a Spanish tapas style menu, and Tuff- Dias, with a new version of Mexican fine dining. When the interview took place, her husband was battling cancer and she was learning to cook flavorful and healthy food for him. Her training at EPCC Culinary Program, her experience as a traveler (along with culinary tours she took), and her connections with local restaurants serving what she feels is healthy, quality food helps her in creating meals for her husband that will aid in his recovery. For her, food and eating should be about enjoyment in all stages of our lives.

Date of Interview


Length of Interview

38 minutes

Tape Number

No. 1731

Interview Number

No. 1731

Terms of Use



Meredith E. Abarca transcribed the Summary.

For information on obtaining a transcript of this interview, please contact The Institute for Oral History

1731 Sweisford, Patricia.summary.pdf (75 kB)
Interview Cover Sheet

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