Lucila Gomez Lucero grew up in Puebla, Mexico - an area known for its rich culinary tradition, especially chile rellenos (stuffed peppers) and mole (a rich sauce of many spices and sometimes chocolate!).
As a girl she and her brothers and sisters - eight in all - would eat fruit fresh from the trees. "In my town, if it was March or April, we'd eat mangoes all the time. May, June, it was watermelon. Everybody had at least one tree of something, some fruit," she remembers.
At home, dinner meant beans and tortillas. "Our food was very simple, but the nice thing was we'd sit all together. We'd eat all together. The nice part is being together, sharing together," she says.
And the lessons she learned from her family still shape how she works with the restaurant today. "What I saw from my parents was how they used to work day by day, very responsible, without a day off," Lucy notes.
"On Sundays they didn't make sandals, but my dad used to sell in the market. My mom was right beside him helping always." That's her advice as well: "Work hard every day and be persistent. Don't give up easily."
To do: Lucy's favorite food as a child - and now - is chiles en nogada, a dish invented in Puebla. It's a stuffed pepper with sauce - a green, red, and white dish that mirrors the colors of the Mexican flag. Find a Mexican flag in your library or online. Can you draw it? What kind of bird it on it? What's in the bird's mouth?
written by Marla Pierson Lester
used by permission of Taste the World