I grew up in the small town of Palpalá, located in the Argentinian province of Jujuy. Surrounded by family and very close to my relatives, I always associated cooking with love and togetherness. Baking and preparing food with my grandma Julia is one of my most treasured childhood memories.
I vividly recall grocery shopping every morning with her. We would start at the bakery to choose a good French bread (“Pan Frances”), move on to the grocery store, and end our journey at the butcher’s. All the while, grandma Julia held my hand tightly. She was a human to look up to, in life, in the kitchen, and as a strong woman. In fact, my Abuela Julia proved to have the greatest influence.
After I started school, I remember baking with my mother, Aurelia, as we made maicenitas and pasta frola for birthday parties. As a teenager, I eagerly anticipated the television cooking show “El Panadero y El Pastelero” (“The Baker and the Pastry Maker”), which featured all things related to bread and patisserie. While watching this show, I acquainted myself with the precise yet inventive use of ingredients, techniques, and general practice.
In 2001, I entered college to study Tourism & Hotel Management in Cordoba, to further my knowledge of business and follow my passion, I pursued an MBA at Universidad Siglo XXI, but never forgot that my ultimate dream was to live abroad. With this in mind, I wasted no time in developing a business plan for a tea house and catering business, never knowing that just such an opportunity would cross my path in the not too distant future.
By 2007, I had moved to Miami to work at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. I will always keep Loews in a special corner of my heart: working with the exemplary staff and obtaining valuable life experience there was the best I could hope for. It taught me so much.
The tangible inspiration for The Café arrived in 2009 when I relocated to Philadelphia, the same year that renovations began at the corner of 26th and Pine Streets. On a warm summer morning of June 2010, I opened the doors of what eventually would become Jezabel’s. I gladly returned to my roots in the kitchen to discover that I love it more than ever. I constantly experiment with ingredients and integrate my knowledge into my culinary endeavors every day. Today, my style of cuisine is Northwestern Argentine with clear Spanish influences.
In 2017, my Studio settled in the Spruce Hill neighborhood of West Philadelphia and the following year, thanks to a welcoming and diverse community I decided to relocate my beloved Cafe right next to it. Nowadays, I’m getting ready to open my own furniture showroom sometime in the fall of 2019.
Since I arrived in West Philly, I’ve found room to move, experiment and make a direct imprint with my own design. I realized that unconsciously, I’ve re-created that very own space where I had my first meals as a child, from the plain white walls to eating very simple yet delicious food my abuela Julia made, seated at a wooden table that my abuelo Norberto built - it feels like I’ve come full circle… and yet maybe there is a lot more to come.
I hope to see you at my table, Jezabel.