Hi! I’m Rosa Cienfuegos, the woman behind Mexican Food Australia.
My journey as a cook is one borne of love and passion but also of necessity. I was born in Mexico City, and when I arrived in Australia in 2009, like most Mexicans, the thing I missed most was the food. I
was surprised to find how little Mexican food was available, and how different everything was – the “Mexican” food here was really anything but!
My dad had had the same experience when he moved here; it’s what led him to become the part owner and cook at El Cuervo Cantina in Enmore. I worked there with him for a while, learning about how to prepare the dishes I felt so homesick for. He left El Cuervo to focus on his main passion, music, but continued as my mentor, my greatest supporter and fan.
For so many in the Mexican community here in Sydney, it was such a loss that people would call me and ask me to prepare certain dishes for them. Eventually, so many people were asking for their favourites (especially my tamales) that I started running pop-up events in Marrickville once a month, just to try to keep up with the demand! In turn, the events grew so much that I had to start doing it twice a month. It was only a matter of time before I needed to move to a permanent location where all my fans could drop in any time to satisfy their cravings. In 2018, I opened my first store, The Tamalería in Dulwich Hill.
In the store, I try to ensure I keep all the essentials for Mexican cuisine, especially those that can be hard to find elsewhere. Beyond all the chiles, the tortillas, all the pantry staples and spices, I also sell antojitos, and frozen meals, ready to eat – including my famous tamales – so Mexicans and Australians can get their fix of real Mexican flavours at home whenever they like.
I still run my events at Marrickville, and at various pop-ups around Sydney. I deliver food and I also offer catering in packages that include everything from simple food delivery to arrangements including staff and live music. Following my passion, I will do whatever it takes to bring Mexico to Australia’s table.