A Look at Loba: Latin and Literary Flavors Meet Friday in MiMo
"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars."
All photos by Carla Torres A she-wolf is in town.
That quote is just one of the details at Loba, a new joint opening in MiMo this Friday. It's one of Jessica Sanchez's favorite quotes, and one that exemplifies her well. The 28-year-old realtor-turned-restaurateur has invested her heart, soul, and life savings in her new eatery, and she's gotten some scars along the way.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Sanchez suffered a second-degree burn while toying with her kitchen. Fire breathed into her face, burning off her hair and eyebrows. "My eyebrows were crispy," she says. "You could have put honey on me and served me up like chicken." Chicken, of course, will be a staple at Loba, as will patacon, a traditional Colombian dish and also the name of the chain of restaurants her parents used to own.
The menu here is all about farm-to-table, changing seasonally in accordance with what's available. Sanchez partnered with FIU's Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management to bring two students aboard full time at Loba, and she found her chef de cuisine and pastry chef on Instagram.
"I found these people that all they posted were pictures of food, and totally stalked them," Sanchez says. "I reached out to them and had them meet me to pitch them on the concept I suggested -- a public place so they wouldn't think I was a creep or anything."
Jessica Hernandez has worked as the pastry chef for Michelle Bernstein's Crumb on Parchment for more than two years. She'll make sweets 'round the clock, baking for Loba by night after her Crumb daytime shift. "I'm working around her schedule -- that's how good she is," Sanchez says. Her chef de cuisine, Robert Errichetti, is a self-made cook. He's training under Sanchez's mom, who's providing authentic flavors, and he's adding the farm-to-table, contemporary concept.