Pedro Tejada graduated from school in Ecuador and after which, he decided to travel all over South America for a few months. Every place he visited, he noticed one common staple food – empanadas. The food is not only filling to those who eat them but it is also very affordable. Empanadas eventually became Tejada’s inspiration up to now.
Tejada was born and raised in Quito, Ecuador but 12 years ago, he decided to move in Milwaukee. There he applied in restaurants to work as personal chef but he never forgotten his love for the South American dishes.
In an attempt to share this love of South American cuisine, he decided to purchase a food cart and it was in July of 2015 that Pedro’s South American Food was launched to the public. His menu includes handmade empanadas as well as tamales. He is now currently busy planning for the opening of his second cart which is scheduled to be out in the street next month. Tejada is currently living in Riverwest and he has a son.
He shared his roots and how he came to love food. His family has a French restaurant business back in Ecuador where he started to help with his Dad operate it since the age of nine years old. He was assigned to cleaning the tables and washing dishes. He was mostly helping as a bartender and server. He was 16 years old when he was able to cook professionally.
Tejada shared that his mom is his inspiration. He recalled that the best dish he had was every Sunday because it is when he and his mom would go to the market for grocery shopping. As soon as they arrive home, she cooks a special meal just for him.
The empanada cart came to him as an idea when he was 18 years old and was busy doing South America Tours. His backpacking lasted for five months and because his budget is limited, he eats street food most of the time. Empanadas were very common in every town he visited. He now sells his own with empanadas with two flavours – Argentinian beef and chorizo, potato and cheddar cheese.