Sabina Bandera

Our family home in Oriunda de Huitzuco, Guerrero, was beautiful. My father was an agriculturalist and a rancher. I loved the outdoors and I learned to grow food and to feed the animals. My mother had a helper in the kitchen and eventually her ten children began to help with the chores and the cooking. Our kitchen was made of adobe but later on, my father made an outdoor kitchen made from thick metal sheets. We had the molcajetes and the comales in the outdoor kitchen and I would make tortillas and beans and salsas using woodfire. We made mole, pozole, cochinita, cheeses and we would sell a lot of the cheese. I was a happy child. On Sundays, my father would take us to the forests and we would have picnics.

When I was seventeen, I used to go help my aunt in the molino and since I didn't care for the classroom, I preferred being out in the field. I helped grow, fumigate, and tend to the plants that we were cultivating. We grew peanuts, corn and watermelon in October. When we had a good crop, I would go out and sell on the street and in the markets. We had wholesale accounts as well. Sometimes we sold it from the trunk of the car. I worked with my father from six in the morning until seven at night and I wouldn't get tired.

In 1976, I married my husband, Luis Eduardo. He was a teacher and his parents lived in Ensenada. So, we came out to visit and we decided to just stay and we started having our children My first son is Luis Eduardo, my second son is Luis Edgar and my third is my daughter, Mariana. With my family's success, my children have been able to educate themselves with distinction. Mariana has a doctorate in physics and both my sons have degrees. We still enjoy working together on the weekends.

Living in Ensenada, I began to learn to cook fish and all the wonderful ingredients from the ocean. Slowly, I began to grow as a cook. In 2001, twenty five years later, Benito Molina referred me to the media and my tostadas began to take-off. A few years later, I was endorsed by Anthony Bourdain and received substancial press from that relationship. Looking back, I think I made all the right decisions in my life. My children are very hard working, like I am. I love them dearly. I have wonderful grandchildren and occasionally I bring my siblings to visit from Guerrero. We live very happy lives.