ARTIST INTERVIEW: Alejandra Bacilio
Company: Alejandra’s Quesadillas
Artist: Alejandra Bacilio
Alejandra’s Quesadillas is undoubtedly at the foundation of the Echo Park Craft Fair. Her iconic blue corn quesadillas have been with us since our first backyard event in 2010. A lot has changed in the last ten years, but one thing is still certain: no one can deny how deeply significant Alejandra’s presence is in the community, far beyond the Echo Park Craft Fair. We visited Alejandra’s iconic stand in Echo Park, where she shared her story with us.
Alejandra Bacilio has been making quesadillas in Los Angeles for the last thirteen years. She hails from Michoacán, Mexico, and explains that while living there she didn’t do much cooking. It was only after moving to Los Angeles that she met two women, one from Puebla, Mexico and the other from Oaxaca, who taught her the craft of preparing blue corn quesadillas. “From necessity you can learn so many things,” Alejandra explained to us.
At a time where the tradition around the preparation of blue corn is disappearing, it has also become Alejandra’s specialty. The opportunity to share her craft with not only Los Angeles, but her children too, has been inspiring for us to watch at EPCF.
Alejandra’s quesadillas range widely in variation, from squash blossoms and chicharron, to Huitlacoche, a highly coveted corn delicacy. Each quesadilla, regardless of its addition, is epically presented and generously packed with flavor.
When we spoke with Alejandra about her dreams for her business, she told us her intention is to continue the made-to-order preparation of her quesadillas, which will hopefully bloom into having a restaurant of her own. Alejandra’s daughters have been collaborating with their mother on ideas to make the expansion of their business happen. Making her quesadillas all around Los Angeles has been extremely prosperous, but also poses certain difficulties, as city permits surrounding food preparation can sometimes be a hindrance, she mentions.
Alejandra loves being at the Echo Park Craft Fair, as it continues to offer a safe space for her to operate her business. Her children can also be present as she works, which is one of the most beautifully unique parts of participating in the fair. With her family together at EPCF, it allows Alejandra to truly feel a part of the community.
Locations to find Alejandra have ranged from Olvera Street to the Los Angeles Convention Center. Currently, you can find Alejandra’s Quesadilla’s Wednesday through Sunday on the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Echo Park Ave., from 11am to 7pm.
Follow her on Instagram: @alejandrasquesadillas