Taqueria del Sol’s founding chef, Eddie Hernandez, juxtaposes the food traditions of his native Monterey, Mexico, alongside the culinary traditions of the American South. As a child, Eddie learned to cook from his grandmother in her restaurant kitchens in Mexico. After a several-year stint playing drums in a rock band in Texas, Eddie tired of the rock star lifestyle and moved to Georgia at the suggestion of a friend. Quickly finding work at a Mexican restaurant south of Atlanta, Eddie made his mark in the kitchen, laying the groundwork for his business partnership with Taqueria del Sol CEO Mike Klank. They opened the first Taqueria del Sol on Atlanta’s Westside in 2000, creating a menu inspired by Hernandez’s native Mexico and Klank’s experiences in the American Southwest. Along the way, Hernandez was introduced to traditional Southern ingredients. Today, Eddie’s spicy turnip greens, Memphis pork barbecue tacos, and blue plate special of the day draw crowds stretching to the sidewalks at three locations in Atlanta and their newest venue in Athens.
Date of interview:
April 19, 2010