Friday Find: The Barbacoa Queen of Los Angeles

Monk: Barbakush is a story of hard work paying off, and this short documentary from Munchies’ Street Food Icons captures it beautifully. Petra Zavaleta and her husband and two sons started their street food and catering business in LA after feeling they weren’t getting paid enough in their previous jobs. Taking matters into their own hands, they began butchering and cooking whole lambs in their backyard in the traditional Poblano barbacoa method passed down from their parents and grandparents. But it took some time and failures before they built up a market for their food, which includes tacos made from homemade tortillas as well as consommé and lamb menudo made from all parts of the goat after being cooked over wood and maguey leaves coals in an underground oven. From the looks of it, it seems like the local community is certainly appreciative of Barbakush and shows up for them.

Description: Petra Zavaleta is the chef behind Barbakush, a street food operation that serves traditional lamb barbacoa in Los Angeles, by way of Puebla, Mexico. Petra, her husband, and her sons work together to create their lamb barbacoa, which is a true labor of love. They break down an entire lamb and build a traditional underground barbecue oven in their backyard. They serve their barbacoa on hand-made tortillas, and use every part of the lamb to create more dishes like consommé and lamb menudo. Petra, who learned this ancient method of butchering and barbecuing from her childhood in Puebla, is driven to succeed by doing things her own way. The goal of Barbakush is to bring this Poblano method of cooking to new horizons in LA.