Hi! I’m Melissa Guerra, I’m a mom to 3 grown boys and live on a working cattle ranch with my husband, who is a rancher and artist.
My family has ranched in Texas since the late 1700’s, since before our Lone Star state was part of the U.S. Obviously, we haven’t gotten any bright ideas since then, as we still live here. My bio says we have been in this area for 8 generations, but some historians say our family has been here for 12 generations. I’m no bragger, so I go with 8.
Beef cattle is our focus here on the ranch. My husband’s family ranched in Mexico, and were instrumental in re-establishing the original Longhorn breed in the U.S. You can watch a video about it here. My side of the family runs Beef Master cattle, and you can read about my clever brother here.
But I have always loved food, and have spent years learning all the traditional recipes in our area. Since our ranch is right on the Mexican border, we have a mixture of Mexican, Latin American and Southern U.S. specialties we enjoy.
Being out on the ranch, I spend a lot of time thinking about what it was like to live, cook and thrive in this hot, waterless desert before electricity and indoor plumbing. My other deep thoughts include what it was like to live on a ranch before fencing and international borders.
So, instead of just looking at food from the perspective of my area, state or country, I started looking at food from the perspective of the biggest ranch I’ve ever known: Our American continent. The food history of the Americas is my obsession. I look at every dish, every beverage and every cooking technique, and try to unveil its mysteries.
Sometimes, I just cook ‘cuz I like to eat. So, there will be those types of recipe posts. Less food history, more nom.
I cook 3 meals a day plus snacks, AND I used to own a kitchen store, so I know a thing or two about kitchen tools. I will share my faves with you as well.
Mostly, I am grateful that you have slowed down to ranch speed for a moment, and are spending some time with me! Thanks for reading, and please message me your comments, questions or suggestions. I would love to hear from y’all!
Here’s my more official-y bio:
Melissa Guerra is an 8th generation Texan, born and raised on a working cattle ranch in South Texas. She is a self taught culinary expert and food historian, specializing in the food ways of the American continent, especially Texas regional, Mexican, and Latin American cuisine.
Her second cookbook Dishes from the Wild Horse Desert: Norteño Cuisine of South Texas was a finalist for a James Beard Award in the category of Foods of the Americas, and for an International Association of Culinary Professionals award in the same category. The Texas Provincial Kitchen was her first cookbook, and was self -published.
Melissa Guerra is a member of Les Dames d Escoffier, a founding board member of Foodways Texas, and a member of The Culinary Institute of America Latin Cuisines Advisory Council Executive Committee, and a frequent public speaker. Guerra is currently an adjunct professor at the Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio, teaching about ancient cuisines.
Her cooking show, “The Texas Provincial Kitchen,” was produced in San Antonio at KLRN, and aired on PBS affiliates across the U.S. Guerra has worked as a bi-lingual spokesperson for Kraft, Coca-Cola, Goya and Mazola. Melissa Guerra served as a consultant, and was featured as a culinary expert on the PBS reality show “Texas Ranch House.”