Today we’d like to introduce you to Lucy Haro.
Lucy, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Food is everything. It nurtures the body, the soul and the community. So as a martial artist, human rights advocate and entrepreneur, my primary business had to begin with our Family’s art of Peruvian cuisine. Growing up with two cultures, America and Peru, I never wanted to lose my culture, but as I grew up, I came to realize the value of Peruvian superfoods and the effect it has on people’s lives. More importantly, the art of cuisine belongs to all the true cooks in my family, the women.
Since a child, I have loved cooking, but I always was the apprentice, taking notes of all the medicinal properties of food while my grandmother or mother cooked. Then I got to be blessed with the variety of ways my Tias cooked the same dishes, but with the same basic ingredients. Both my mother and grandmother made sure we nurture and heal our body through food first. Overall, I love that our homes are always gathering places, where anyone knows they are welcomed with a meal. In high school, all my friends visited just to get some of my mother’s cooking. I never understood because I felt everyone had home cooking, but soon realized home cooking was not that common.
My dream is for everyone to be able to cook even simple dishes with Peruvian ingredients so that their family will keep healthy and strong. Because of my martial arts career, I have traveled all around the world and learned from the best Teachers and professional fighters, and again I was reminded that most physical training begins with food. It can make a difference in losing or winning a fight (boxing or other sports event). As I managed the careers of professional fighters, My Sifu and boxing coaches would trust me to feed the athlete right. Luckily, it was the same lessons my mother and grandmother taught me. More importantly you can enjoy food and stay fit. I loved it when a coach once said to me, you have to try Maca in your juices. I laughed, yes I use maca (Peruvian ginger root) all the time. It provides calcium iron and energy, only one of the ingredients I wish more people had access to. The others being quinoa , the ancient grain or youth recipe according to the Inkas, and Aji, chilies from Peru. As I prepare my sauces daily from organic Peruvian ingrediants, I am wishing to convey love and healing to all who taste a dish. Soon, I plan to have a cookbook to share our philosophy of healthy living.
Qusqo BIstro is my community and all our welcome. I share my culture with Angelinos and learn from my customers’ arts as well. As much of my daily life involves working as an advocate for youth and women in Los Angeles or managing the careers of martial artists, we are only open for dinner. We host art events to celebrate local artists and share different cultures.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Life is good, with all the ups and downs, but you must keep the right attitude to succeed, And that is: Just LOVE! Love people, love what you do, love your city. So when things go wrong, you are reminded why you are doing all this. Trust me, there will always be challenges in life, including business, but you keep on fighting for what you love.
With that being said: The best and worst part about having a restaurant, it is so dependent on People. Someone is late or calls in sick, I have to adapt, and make choices to keep things going. And that is why being an entrepreneur is challenging, as we wear many hats. The only thing that got me thru struggles was love for our family’s art and my community.
Please tell us about Qusqo Bistro & Gallery.
Qusqo Bistro and Gallery is a center of nourishment for your body and soul. We have been providing Peruvian soul food and celebrating artists in Los Angeles for 12 years. We are known for our tasty healthy dishes and Chicha Morada juice, a youth elixir. We have a nice balance of dishes on our menu to satisfy the Pescatarian or Vegan or Meat Eater. Our recipes have been proven to satisfy the taste buds of many of the athletes we cook for while helping them keep lean. Because of our family recipes and healthy living coaching background, we are happy to provide delicious meals and events to the community. More importantly, we are happy to share the art of women in our family, true cooks.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
The diversity of people and respect for one another’s values. All my neighbors come from different religions, Budhist, Muslim, Catholic or Jewish and we live in harmony. The worst is traffic as our city grows rapidly with the influx of people here.
- Address: 11633 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles CA 90025
- Website: www.qusqo.com
- Phone: 3103123800
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @qusqobistro
- Facebook: @qusqobistroandgallery
- Other: Bueno Chi, Inc.