Breaking Bread

with Esteban Marroquin

My name is Esteban Marroquin, I am an American born Mexican. I grew up with four older brothers, a mother and father who worked very hard to provide for us.  As children we all were expected to lend a hand to help our parents. I remember in my youth I would often help my mother in the kitchen by cooking for church socials or fundraisers or even helping my mother cook a lunch so she could deliver a hot meal to my father at his job.  

I always had this desire to make good homemade food from scratch for my family and friends. But times in life got tough, money was tight, siblings would fight, times would change. Through all that I always noticed and felt in my heart that no matter how hard things got life was just a little better when we as family and friends came to the table to break bread.

I learned old traditional family recipes from my mother and father and when I left the family home I took that knowledge with me.  But I always wanted more, more in the sense of the feeling I had when watched, and listened as a youth to learn to create these recipes. Later, I found that same feeling in the homes of the people I know and love and respect.  For example, when i tried homemade Mac & cheese for the first time, tater tot casserole, and “OH MY” – chicken fried steak; I was teleported to my youth.

So I set out to learn all of these amazing American dishes or German dishes or Southern dishes from those that were willing to share. When I was graciously taught and then trusted to make these new dishes it allowed me to be closer to them, and them to me. The cooking allowed me to break down some of that social awkwardness and insecurities we carry because people  wouldn’t be looking at how tall, how fat, or how scary I am. Instead we shared diversity through food. We sat simply sat down as brothers and sisters, husbands and wives, aunts and uncles, grandparents and even great grandparents and we broke personal and social barriers. 

As long as I am fortunate enough to be able to share not only about myself, but what I bring to the table (no pun intended) – both my heart for my culture and a bit of my family – then I will, at any opportunity. I am truly humbled to share with everyone and hope you will come follow me on this culinary journey of not just  food but to bring back the meaning and the act of “breaking bread at the table” with your people, my people, all of us as brothers and sisters.

I will leave you with a phrase that I have said many times over my 30 plus years of making food and or catering, “THIS FOOD DOES NOT MEAN ANYTHING WITHOUT FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO SHARE IT WITH”

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