Photo courtesy of: Thomas Teal / Portland Monthly
Luna, a Mexican native oversaw two highly praised Mexican restaurants in San Francisco; Mamacita and Padrecito. She achieved two three star reviews from the San Francisco Chronicle and a Top 100 Bay Area Restaurants award from the San Francisco Chronicle, five years in row during her time at the helm. Restaurant critic Michael Bauer mentioned “Padrecito signals the rise of Mexican restaurants in the Bay Area”. For her continued dedication in staying seasonal, vegetable driven and regionally inspired Michelin Guide awarded Mamacita with six Bib Gourmand awards.
After having visited Portland for years she made the move to the Pacific Northwest in 2015. In hopes of opening a restaurant and hoping to be part of the community. During this time Luna was chosen to be on the cover of Pearl Magazine, participated at IPNC in partnership with Domaine Serene and Argyle wineries. She helped organize fundraising dinners for Governor Kate Brown and has been able to build strong relationships with farmers that have helped her continued commitment in staying true to the beliefs that she was taught at her grandmothers’ restaurant in Guadalajara.
She started her quest operating “Chelo” in pop up format to test the acceptance of seasonal regional Mexican cuisine. Events at Han Oak, OX and Renata proved successful. She worked as Chef de Cuisine at Bistro Agnes and worked in tandem with OX restaurant on Feast, Food Network and James Beard events.
Luna has fought most of her life affirming and embracing her true identity. She finally embarked in starting hormone replacement therapy after a long battle with gender dysphoria. This continued journey brings a renewed passion to the approach of staying humble, honest and real. A proud transgender woman, Luna, is planning on opening chelo spring 2021.