We had the good fortune of connecting with Michelle Lainez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michelle, what’s something about your industry that outsiders are probably unaware of?
I don’t think people stop and think about the many hands that have touched their food along the way to get to their table. The experience of having a great meal doesn’t begin when you order begins many months in advance with a farmer standing in his field thinking about what will be the best thing to plant, on what piece of land and what time to plant it. There’s months of loving their crops to make sure what they have planted can thrive. Then there’s harvest, selling to chefs and once they get to the restaurant, they are cleaned prepped and ready to go. There are hours of preparation that go into beverage programs, bread programs, and restaurant culture to make your evening and or take magical. By the time you have your meal atleast a dozen hands have been involved in your meal.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Hi! I own Chef Michelle and Company a full circle inclusive catering company and we are proud to announce the launch of VAMONOS our food truck. Chef Michelle and Company is truly one of a kind, we don’t have set menus and really focus on our clients and vibe they want to create at their event. This Pandemic has turned our world upside down and we have transitioned to family style meal delivery and micro events. Still creating magic, in the safest way possible Missing human interaction and wanting to feed people good food we brought VAMONOS to life. Centered around my Salvadoran roots, VAMONOS serves up breakfast and lunch with Salvadoran and central American flavors. It’s not easy starting a new business at any time, but during a pandemic its a little extra. We stay true to the meaning of VAMONOS which translates to “Lets Go”, we have to keep pushing, we have to keep moving, we have to keep doing our best. Keep your dream and goals front and center and VAMONOS!
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
OMG!!! When my friends come town, I feel like all we do is eat all day every day. There is something for everyone in Los Angeles, but these are some of my favorite places. Breakfast and walk at the Huntington gardens. I mean we could really spend all dy here going through the gardens and museums, having dumplings at the asian garden then going for tea and crumpets in the Shakespeare garden. Because dumplings and tea may not be a “real meal” per say, we can take a drive down town to the piñata district. We may not need a piñata, but the food, flavors and culture of the latin pulse is all around. There is no other place I know of were you can get, Salvadoran pupas, Mexican tacos & churros, Ecuadoran empanadas, fruit & vegetable juice -and a Mirada of Latin American street food in a 3 by 3 block radius. Not only is the street food on par, but the shops, everything you ever dreamed of for a party, pinatas, candy, decorations.. not to mention all the dried spices, beans, nuts and kitchen ware you will ever need. We will probably need drinks right about now…quick and fun, we can go to king eddies for beers and some shots of whiskey, before we go home to change. A night out… Pre-covid times, I love live music and you could catch a great band play off the beaten bath in Little Tokyo or around Silver Lake and Sunset Junction. LIstenning to usic and having a good cocktail is just about right…then you need a snack. Hitting up the Taco trucks at 1 am is the place to be, lined up on olympic and pico.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shout out to MY MOMS!! Literally all of my mom’s. The women in our family have played a very important roll in shaping who I am today. MOM, Kandy, Tia Yani, Tia Terre, Tia Lola and Desiree. Each of these women have shaped who I am as a person. Maybe not in the sense that my culinary mentor did in teaching me the ways of the kitchen, but in teaching me in the ways of life and how I would eventually run my kitchen and live my life. I have an insane amount of love and admiration for these ladies.
Website: https://www.vamonosla.com/ https://www.chefmichelleandcompany.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vamonos_la/ https://www.instagram.com/chefmichelle_and_company/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Chef-Michelle-Company-1773335199649867 https://www.facebook.com/Vamonos-101464418374560