We had the good fortune of connecting with Ana Beaven and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ana, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I wanted to showcase the authentic Mexico City dining experience to the people of Houston so I opened Cuchara Restaurant. Growing up in Mexico City, I was able to taste and understand many flavors and traditions. Fresh ingredients are an integral part of our cuisine as well as authenticity. My absolute favorite Mexican food is the one cooked by my grandmother and I wanted to reproduce her kitchen’s flavors in Houston. I opted for an all female kitchen, which is my pride and joy! Our cooks are incredible. All of them are moms from Mexico that cook with passion and love and it reflects on our food. Being able to help them get the recognition they deserve for their traditional cooking has been very important for them. Presenting the traditional Mexican holidays is an important part for us as well, we take pride into not just selling food but the whole cultural experience.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My work is exciting and carries a lot of responsibility. To put Mexico’s name in the high status it deserves is not an easy job. The biggest challenge is to keep quality, same ingredients for consistency and to keep innovating so our client’s never feel bored.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would start Sunday with an amazing brunch at Cuchara (obviously!). Live music, fresh food, amazing ambiance and lots of tequila cocktails. Buffalo Bayou is a great park to walk around and then take their pontoon boat to see Houston’s downtown from the water. An easy evening at my high rise apartment home to appreciate Houston’s skyline. Monday would be devoted to visit the port of Houston and their their awesome boat ride to understand how big and busy the port is. I would do dinner at Vic and Anthony’s in downtown to brag about Texas steaks with my friend. Tuesday would be to shop in the Galleria and let my friend explore ALL the selections the are offers. I would then reserve a cozy table at Amalfi, the best Italian in town and enjoy their live music. Wednesday I would devote all day to the museums. Houston has really good art collections. Then sushi at MF, my favorite sushi place which happens to be in the museum district. Thursday is for night life and bar hopping in downtown finishing the night at ETRO, my favorite club that plays 80’s music. Friday would be to explore the cistern in Buffalo Bayou which is a water reservoir that takes your breath away as well as going back to Cuchara but this time for dinner, a totally different experience and an amazing one too! Saturday would be for a quick visit to Clear Lake’s boardwalk. Then a fancy dinner at BCN, an incredible Spanish restaurant followed by a cocktail at The Flat, where DJ Sun has to be mixing that night. The perfect night cap…
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
All females working in kitchens, every kitchen; home or restaurant’s. In restaurants in the US it is usually a male dominated world with cooking school recognitions and chef’s names. Humble female cooks that didn’t go to school or didn’t care the get the “chef” title deserve a lot of credit! In our case, Cuchara wouldn’t be a success without their loving hands and organization.