The Empanadas and Mama’s Signature Salsa are family recipes that we’ve slowly been perfecting over many years. I grew up making these empanadas for my parent’s family restaurant Motivos, but when they sold the business, the orders for the empanadas kept coming in. Over the years after doing catering for birthdays, weddings and other events, I’ve decided to leave corporate life behind and dedicate myself to my one true love and passion; cooking! After a very successful summer doing the farmer’s market tour in 2019, we have taken the next step on our journey by opening up our own little restaurant at 825 Dundas St West. Come find out what a Real Empanada Tastes Like!
I grew up in the kitchen. My parents used to put me to help out the chefs at our family restaurant Motivos when I was a young boy. At first what seemed like punishment ended up being a blessing in disguise. The chefs quickly grew to love my natural curiosity and my ability to master recipes just as fast as they taught me. My favourite thing to make was our Colombian Empanadas. We had two separate chefs who I always called Abuelita which means Grandma in Spanish. The problem was both of them always made the recipe different from the other. Each claimed that theirs was the best and that it was their secret recipe taught to them by their respective grandmothers. I personally liked both but never understood why they couldn’t just combine efforts and make a super empanada instead.
One day, when I was 13, both chefs called in sick on a Saturday and my Dad ended up taking a gamble by letting me be the head chef for the day. I was tasked with cooking all the orders and to top of that, to make the empanadas between orders too. I was nervous at the time, but a part of me would come to life that day that I never ever knew existed. Everyone in the restaurant was at my command and for the first time in my life, I was calling the shots. Before starting my dad sheepishly asked, “Richard, do you think you can handle this?” I answered unsure of myself, “yes, I mean, I’ll do my best”. I had always wondered what combining each of their recipes might turn out like and somehow came up with my first fusion batch later that day. As they were served to our guests, we quickly asked for feedback and the reviews were outstanding. Customer after customer expressed that they were the best ones they had eaten but none of them were the wiser that it was me in the back room. I would go on to be the main empanada maker (empanaderro) from that day forward and called them “Richard’s Super Empanada”. Over time, together with my family, we would go on to meticulously perfect the recipe over the years.
Unfortunately, my parents would close their doors in 2012 as they went back to focus on their respective careers. Interestingly enough, despite shutting down, orders for our empanadas somehow continued to roll in. I’m finally ready to share what I’ve been working on all these years with the world. I hope to build this company with the same fearlessness and excitement of that day when I was a boy of 13.
Our all natural gluten fr(ee)iendly Colombian Empanadas help travellers and foodies experience traditional Colombian food in the comfort of their own homes or on the go. Our savoury and exotic Empanadas are easy to make and are sure to impress their guests. We simplify a long complex, labour intensive process by providing them a food packed with flavour which is also easier and cheaper to make at home than they ever could do on their own from scratch. Our Empanadas are unlike anything currently being offered in markets and far superior to any of the restaurants producing similar products in the GTA today. Delivered cooked or frozen, hosts can look like rockstars to their guests and guests will be left asking who their “hook up” is for these tasty bites.