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Monserrat Andrade

I was raised with three sisters in a big house with a huge garden. I loved being out in the garden. The kitchen was always being redecorated but what remained constant was that all six of us ate together and my mother did all the cooking. My father had a coronary condition so my mother cooked very healthy cuisine focused on salads and vegetables. We didn't eat fried food or tortillas. My mother did prepare a delicious mashed potato that was creamy and well-seasoned and this became my favorite dish from my childhood. She didn't use a lot of butter or cream but she whipped them exceptionally.

I didn't realize how interested I was in cooking when I was younger but looking back now, I see that I was gravitating towards that lifestyle. My love for cooking didn't just start by watching my mom cook but rather because I loved the art of service. I was given the chore of decorating the table and preparing the waters that we would make with fruit. I remember that I'd be walking home from school and I would pre-meditate how I would set the napkins and the silverware. I would also be responsible for setting up the ambiance for our meals on eight-track. We had lots of music but my favorite was the soundtrack to Carmen, the opera. We played it so much that we snapped the tape and I cried for days.

In high school, I became a different person. My mother says that I was the most difficult of all her children. I don't know if that is true but I wasn't very interested in school. I was gravitating to a more rock and roll crowd and my parents were worried. I was going to a lot of concerts, wearing bell bottoms and even though I thought I was a good child, I do think that I gave them cause to worry because there was a lot of drugs and alcohol in my orbit.

I loved to draw and paint as a young woman so I thought I would study architecture or industrial design. I went to Guadalajara for about a year to study and that is where I met a man named Victor. We were married three years later and I got pregnant and I left my studies behind and became a homemaker. In 1998, I gave birth to Camila and even though I wanted to be a young mother, it did take me a little by surprise. I had a great support system and so for the first two years of her life, I dedicated myself completely to my daughter. She lived a charmed early childhood and she grew up extremely healthy and well-nourished.

Much later on, I began working again with my mother who had an event planning business and I began operating the small businesses. When a sweet shop that I launched, failed, I sat myself down and focused on what I wanted to do with my professional life. My husband and I began having parties and I would make all the food and he would make all the cocktails and so eventually we decided to open a restaurant called M Capaceta in 2013.

At the end of the year in 2015, the developers decided to sell the property and it still makes me sentimental to know that we had to close because we weren't ready to close. We invested a lot of money into the business and we weren't able to recoup under such a strict timeframe. M Capaceta was a my first real-world experience in the kitchen and although I'm not ready for round two, I know that I found my calling.

Domestically, my plan was to have five children but Camila and I had a long talk early-on and we decided that she would be an only child. My husband and I live day to day and it made logical sense to concentrate on my daughter. The three of us are very loving with each other and we have lots of family around us so we are content with the decisions we have made.