Growing up in El Paso, Texas Marissa was exposed at an early age to bordering Mexican cities and northern Mexican areas such as Chihuahua and Sonora. It was not until after moving to New York City in 1989, however, that she began to discover the contrasting central and southern states of Mexico, including Oaxaca. The connection was immediate from every aspect including food, culture, music, and of course the folk artists and their traditions. After returning several times, Marissa was fortunate enough to get married and host a traditional, indigenous wedding ceremony in Oaxaca in 2003. It was then that she formed long-lasting relationships with local cooks, restaurateurs, musicians, healers, weavers, and artesanos who contributed to the week-long celebration. Since joining FOFA, she has proudly been able to continue fostering these relationships and collaborate on the vital projects that have been essential to its mission and work.
Marissa is a culinary consultant working in the restaurant and hospitality industry in New York for over 20 years. She specializes in restaurant management and operations, event production and coordination, client management, lectures and cooking demonstrations, business development, and public relations.