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For James Beard nominee, passion for food instilled at a young age

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Growing up in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, Enrique Lozano watched his mother make meals from scratch. She would prepare delicious dishes for them in a cozy and loving kitchen, where he would help her as she worked.

While his mother was preparing meals, Lozano’s father was out working at his own catering company, where Lozano occasionally assisted. Lozano’s taste buds were shaped into a James Beard Award semifinalist by both of his parents’ passion for food.

“My mom was an excellent cook. She always made food from scratch every day. She definitely, I guess, wired my taste buds,” Lozano said. “But the passion I saw my dad cook with… Sometimes I would go to his job and hang out there for a couple of hours and, seeing him cook and have fun in the kitchen, it helped me never forget who I was.”

The James Beard Awards highlight and celebrate the American culture’s enduring connection to food by honoring the nation’s top chefs, restaurants and cuisine.

One of the most prestigious honors for which any chef or restaurant can be considered is the James Beard award.

After the pandemic, Lozano opened El Charlatan in Socorro, Texas, with the goal of combining Mexican and Asian flavors in his food. From ramen to flanken-style ribs, El Charlatan combines those delectable Mexican ingredients and transforms them into delicious dishes that leave every customer happy and hankering for more.

“It’s something that I grew up with in a Mexican household. Mexican food and tacos are invaded in my veins and I found the love for Asian cooking later on in my life,” Lozano said. “It’s basically a marriage of both of my culinary backgrounds.”

Lozano saw launching his own restaurant as a gamble because Socorro was his hometown and was renowned for its excellent Mexican cuisine. However, the town and tourists embraced his food and restaurant.

Listen to more from Enrique Lozano and his restaurant in the audio player above.

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