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Chef Silvana Puts a Spin on Traditional Mexican Food

Posted at 11:17 AM, Oct 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-17 14:17:05-04

Standing behind the stove of her newest barrio bab, Chef Silvana Salcido Esparza has one rule for the freezer-less, taco-less, Barrio Café Gran Reserva. 

“Keep it simple. Mexico food is complex, but it’s the ingredients that are simple,” she says.

A menu exclusive to vegans, vegetarians and omnivores, Chef Silvana has been holding onto this concept for nearly two decades. 

“What’s different about this restaurant is I just kind of turn up the volume a little bit. Even the name is indicative of what it represents. Gran Reserva… my great reserve,” said Chef Silvana.

Originally from California, Chef Silvana became the face of Mexican food in Phoenix. She backpacked across Mexico, picking up tastes from all kinds of cultures, bringing the flavor north of the border. 

“In my opinion, anyone who’s got fresh immigrants that not only come with their culinary treasures but also their culinary ingredients to a region,” said Chef Silvana. “That’s what fortifies that region and gives it that really good Mexican flavor.”

Chef Silvana is able to capture flavors from as far north as Sonora to Oaxaca in Southern Mexico. 

“Mexico is a broad spectrum of people and culture. And just like that, so is our food,” said Chef Silvana.