ABOUT OUR FOUNDER
MARICELA VEGA founded CHICO officially in
2016 as a food concept.
Since then, she has steadily built the food
enterprise into what it is recognized as now.
A nomadic ATL institution that prides itself on the
ability to nixtamal land race maíz into ground
masa and educate our community about it.
Maricela created CHICO to provide the city of
Atlanta and surrounding southern cities with a
point of reference of what an example of
Mexican cuisine based in the South can be.
It is a homage to her ancestors from Guanajuato,
to her parents who immigrated to California and
later moved the family across the country to Georgia.
She hopes to create symbiotic relationships and help
inspire those around her as she is reciprocally inspired.
Mari has spent over a decade cooking in Atlanta
and half of that time has been spent learning and
growing alongside the food systems in GA.
While restaurant work has always laid at the forefront,
she disciplined in various sectors of the food worlds
including film and media work.
Maricela begs the question,
"How can we move forward without understanding what's behind?"
AWARDS, ACCOLADES, AND NODS:
2021 Bon Appetite's Healthyish 8-page spread
JBF 2020 Semi Finalist Rising Chef
2020 NYT Profile Pice on Social Justice + Food Advocacy
2020 Executive Chef of the year for the GA Department of
Agriculture's Georgia Grown Program
2019 Atlanta Magazine Best New Chef
2019 Eater ATL Best Pop Up
2019 Lady Locavore Chef of the Year via
Community Farmers Market
2018 Creating Loafing Chef of the Year
2016 Food First scholarship recipient
to the Cuba Agroecology trip