Editor’s Note: This interview with Hignio Herrera was conducted by Tulane student, Andrew Fitzpatrick as a part of the Southern Food & Beverage Museum’s New Orleans con Sabor Latino exhibit. This exhibit was the result of a joint effort by Tulane University, SoFaB, and community partners.
In Dr. Sarah Fouts’ interdisplinary seminar, Food, Migration, & Culture, Tulane students worked with Latino members of the New Orleans food industry to create a series of oral histories exploring the role of Latin culture in our city’s restaurant scene. With stories ranging from famous restauranteurs to line cooks, New Orleans con Sabor Latino demonstrates the diversity of experience within this community, as well as their vital contributions to the Big Easy.
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Hear Hignio Herrera give the recipe for Felipe’s success! In this clip, Herrera explains the origins of the local taqueria and walks us through their signature chicken tinga recipe.
Herrera is the manager of Felipe’s Taqueria Uptown. Felipe’s was founded in Boston by Hignio’s brother, but expanded to New Orleans in the early 2000s. In addition to the Uptown location, you can enjoy Felipe’s Mexican dishes on North Carrollton in Midcity and in the French Quarter on North Peters St.
“My name is Hignio Herrera, I was born in Oaxaca, and I am the manager of Felipe’s Taqueria in Uptown New Orleans. My family, they first opened the restaurant in Boston, he had the first Felipe’s over there in 2000 might be 2002 I no remember exactly but I had a opportunity to come into New Orleans and I move to over here in late 2006 and I start with Mr. Rob and I work in this for almost 10 years.
This, Mexican, this is Mexican and the people, they like spicy food and they like to try carnitas or al pastor and the chicken tinga is the new item he put on the menu, and the soup.
Ok, for the chicken tinga, the process is like he boil the chicken and then he put garlic, onion, after that he cut the onions and put it all in the pot and fry a little bit of the onion so like that it is soft and put the the chile de guajillo and chile de arbol, and put the tomatoes and he mix it up and a couple things and put the orange juice and the chicken and the mint and he put it in the pot and wait a couple minutes and then the chicken tinga is ready.
Yeah the menu, this is, this is for Oaxaca, so he want to try to make something, a couple things, something more for Oaxaca. I don’t know maybe soon he put like different things more for Oaxaca, so.
Yes. Yes, he try to make authentic food over here. He try to, the customers, he try to make everything fresh and like the more fresh the possible it is, he can do every single day.
This is a little something different because what I told you again, this is, all the food is fresh and he make and he cook it in two times in the day, everything, so I think for the people that come into a restaurant because all the food is fresh.”
Special thanks to the Tulane University Stone Center for Latin American Studies, the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South, and the Tulane University Center for Public Service for their assistance and support of this project.