Instagram / jess.kuykendall
The chef behind the innovative cuisine at Ocho at Hotel Havana is branching out to offer San Antonio the food of her childhood along the U.S.-Mexico border.
This weekend, chef Jesse Kuykendall will launch Milpa, a food truck specializing in Mexican street food that may be unfamiliar to many San Antonians. A brick and mortar space is also in the works.
“I started this venture prior to [joining the team at] Ocho, and it was hard to let it go so I could dedicate my focus to my growth with Havana,” said Kuykendall, known to her coworkers as Chef Kirk. “Milpa is a perfect place for me to share who I am, past [the work] I’m fortunate to do with Ocho.”
Even so, the Laredo-raised chef said her primary focus remains on Ocho.
The Milpa food truck will launch with a hefty Valentine’s Day takeout package and a Saturday pop-up at Government Hill establishment Folklores Coffee House
. The pop-up will showcase future menu items including tacos, quesadillas, pozole and arroz con leche, all inspired by Kuykendall’s family recipes, travels and experiences growing as a chef.
“The menu is focused on overlooked street foods in Mexico, street foods I was introduced to by my mom on our travels growing up,” Kuykendall said. “I have so many memories of my mom cooking for us, and I’m looking forward to sharing those through this menu.”
Beyond the items debuted this weekend, the Milpa food truck — and forthcoming restaurant — will serve tamales, flautas, borracho beans, elotes, calabacita and moles.
Facebook / Milpa - Food Truck & Catering
As a Valentine’s Day special, Kuykendall is offering a meal package that includes 10 mini tacos, corn in a cup, borracho beans and a concha as big as your corazón — for around $50. Diners can place pre-orders for the meal, including add-on options, at the Milpa website
The pop-up at Folklores, located at 1526 E. Grayson St., will start at 9 a.m. and run until the food sells out.
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