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Tania Livier García

Our kitchen was white and red and there was a bar where I used to sit and watch my paternal grandmother as she cooked. She was from Jalisco. I loved broccoli as a child so my meals always had broccoli of some type on my plate. Even when we went for Chinese food in Mexicali, we would order dishes with broccoli and the family would pass their portions over to me. I was a calm child and I was the oldest of all the grandchildren for many years and so I was always living among adults.

When I was eighteen, I was an introvert. It was hard for me to make friends and I spent a lot of time working or studying Spanish dance. By the time I graduated, I began to make life-long friends and I also learned to be a host for the family parties. Occasionally, I would help in the kitchen and I would try to find a way to twist a recipe in some original way.

My parents asked me to choose a field of study before I was able to leave Mexicali to a big city so I graduated in 2004 with a degree in International Relations. I began working at an agency after school and my brother began studying gastronomy and so I tagged along to his classes to learn as well. At this time, I met my boyfriend. His name is Memo. Memo pushed me to find a different type of school and I found a branch of the Cordon Bleu in Chicago. I went from the unbelievable heat of Mexicali to the incredible cold of Chicago. I learned all I could and when I was in Chicago, I opened a copy of Bon Appetit and read a feature on Enrique Olvera in Mexico City at Pujol.

I applied to enter the kitchen in Pujol and spent six wonderful months in Mexico City while I learned all I could from that experience. After a few twists and turns, I opened a restaurant in Baja called Criollo. I also work at Las Nubes in Valle de Guadalupe on the weekends where I make small dishes. I'm in a moment of transition and I'm trying to find a space among all the talent in Baja. I'm specifically interested in charcuterie and how to incorporate that into the eco-system of our local culture.

I am undecided about children. My cut-off age was thirty-five and now that I am thirty-five, I remain undecided. I've grown accustomed to living with adults.