Chef Maria Is Adding El Paso Flavor to This Season’s Menu at Southwest University Park
The first game at Southwest University Park has come and gone and there are plenty more game days to come.
While most people head out to Southwest University Park to enjoy soccer or baseball, others head out to enjoy the delicious food. Me. I’m the others!
I love a good hot dog or some nachos while I’m at the ballpark especially from Southwest University Park because our food is one-of-a-kind ballpark food and it’s all thanks to Executive Chef, Maria Barragan Hurtado.
“Just being able to provide that little piece of joy that satisfies their stomach when they come to eat here at the ballpark, that’s what really makes me happy,” said Chef Maria.
Chef Maria has been working at Southwest University Park for nearly 10 years. She started off working in the concessions, then made her way to suite supervisor, and finally found herself in the position of Executive chef. However, becoming a chef wasn’t always the plan for her.
“I was going to UTEP to study to be an English teacher and I eventually wanted to become a counselor. That was my dream job but this took me on a different journey,” said Chef Maria.
Her love for cooking began at a young age when she would find herself creating recipes on her own and that was how she was able to teach herself how to cook, but she was also able to perfect her cooking skills by learning from other chefs around her.
“Throughout the years that I’ve been here I have worked with other chefs here and I have been able to learn different things from them as well so I’ve gained that experience from them,” said Chef Maria.
This year’s ballpark menu includes items like loaded carnitas nachos, borunda hot dogs, and other dishes inspired by El Paso’s culture.
Chef Maria’s days begin at 10 in the morning and during game days they usually wrap up close to midnight.
Although the days are long, Chef Maria takes pride in creating one-of-a-kind dishes to make the ballpark experience a good one for fans.
“After being here for 10 years I never thought I would be in this position at all and I never gave up,” said Chef Maria. “I kept pursuing and pushing and I am where I am now because of that.”