Interview no. 1723
El Paso's Food Voice
Summary of Interview
Araceli Borunda was born in Mexico City on November 10, 1964, but all of her family is from Chihuahua, Mexico. During her childhood she spend time between Mexico City, Chihuahua and El Paso, Texas. She currently lives in El Paso, Texas and has lived here since the early 2000’s. She ow has a coffee truck and sells her coffee every Saturday at the farmer’s market.
Araceli mentioned in her interview that she loved food and cooking since she was a little girl because of her grandmother Delfina Flores, which was a great cook. She enjoyed every moment that she has with her grandmother in the kitchen making bunuelos in the winter for the Holiday season. Araceli learned many other recipes with her grandmother such as, rajas con queso, pollo. These recipes are now a tradition in Araceli’s family every Christmas.
When Araceli reach college she wanted to study to be a chef, but her parents didn’t see being a chef as a career so she ended up studying computer science which she hated. She never used a computer ever again until her children where born. Even with her major in computer science she always kept an eye open for opportunities in the kitchen. She first got a job in the Hotel Camino Real as an assistant to a kitchen manager to which she learned a lot from.
A couple of years later she got married and went to live to Leon, Mexico. She then there enrolled in school again and pursuit a masters in gastronomy which she loved, but didn’t get to finish because she got pregnant with her second baby. She then after decided to take cooking classes in her free time. During this time she was filing for divorce and when it was finalized, she moved cities from Leon, Mexico to Cuernavaca, Mexico where she lived for three years and established her first restaurant in. Her restaurant was a café/restaurant. She got helped from her sister and her old boss from the Camino Real Hotel. Araceli was the chef for breakfast and her sister used to coordinate everything for the evening because Araceli had to go pick up her kids from school. Her restaurant was a total hit during those years in Cuernavaca.
After three years she closed her restaurant and moved again, but this time to El Paso, Texas. She then enrolled herself in a cooking program in Napa which she loved. Since she arrived to El Paso, she has expanded her knowledge in food and in new ways of cooking. Araceli mentioned that some food is prepared very different from what she used to know, but that she likes it. She then decided to paused her dream of opening up a restaurant again because she wanted to be a fulltime mother and not be distracted in a restaurant. Once her children got to college and her little one decided to study gastronomy Araceli felt so happy for her because she got to live the dream that Araceli didn’t and she was even happier because as a mother she really supported her not like Aracelis parents did to her.
Her children where off to college and Araceli felt lonely so she decided to look again at restaurants where she found out about food trucks, especially coffee trucks. She then found a coffee truck in Los Angeles and decided to go look at it and buy it. The day she arrived at Los Angeles she felt as if she took a really bad and big step and didn’t really think about the consequences. The next day when she went to look at the truck all of her fears disappear and decided to start her coffee truck company.
Araceli went back to El Paso and her coffee truck finally arrived. She felt very excited but nervous at the same time. She then started to see menus and products and many problems revolving the truck started to happen. One day before opening her coffee truck she looks back at everything she went through for that dream and felt a sense of relief.
She first started to sell her coffee at car agencies in El Paso, but that wasn’t what she really wanted. One day she saw a billboard announcing a farmer’s market and she decided to sign up for it, it took her a couple of month to find herself in the market and to settle in, but after a lot of work and dedication her coffee truck is now every Sunday in the farmers market. Now Araceli shares her love for cooking and baking with the community though her coffee truck.
Date of Interview
Length of Interview
Borunda, Lilian Araceli, "Interview no. 1723" (2019). Public Kitchens. 5.