Mari was raised in North Georgia eating Mexican home cooking made daily by her mother. Her experience with food lies in over a decade of food-related work (executive chef, recipe developer/contributor, prop maker & food styling, etc.) primarily in Atlanta, GA, and through several years of teaching seed-to-plate education in various school systems. Visits throughout her life to Maricela’s family’s lands in Guanajuato, Mexico have informed her approach and philosophy to cooking, which lead Mari into her career as a James Beard-nominated chef based in Atlanta.
Mari is the founder of CHICO, a masa goods y mas social enterprise based in Atlanta. Current plans are for Mexican products to hit small grocery shelves throughout the regional south late 2022.
A 10-year interdisciplinary field program of the culinary arts that includes culinary training of many cuisines plus five years of agroecology and food justice studies with 5 years of maiz and nixtamal research all contribute to Maricela’s education and discipline.