Heidi was welcomed into the world surrounded by a large family with strong Mexican culture. Growing up in Los Angeles with a large Mexican extended family, there were endless parties and massive amounts of food. It seemed like the Riveras were always celebrating something. Tia Ana’s 40th, The birth of Emelio, Vanesa’s First Holy Communion, Abuela’s Second Marriage… and the list goes on. On any given summer day, it was no surprise to find all the mujeres cooking in la cocina and all the hombres in the yard laughing and drinking cervezas. Before long, a pre-teen Heidi found herself most comfortable in the kitchen flipping the tortillas, assembling the tamales at Christmas along with Tio Toño’s Spanish Rice. Heidi’s madre, Elizabeth Rivera-Luko even taught Heidi the masterful art of salsa making at a very young age.
Years later, Heidi found a deeper appreciation for taking such care with the recipe and when she finally had a kitchen of her own, she added her own sabor to the Rivera salsa. Inspired by the chunkier, authentic Mexican salsa that Heidi prefers and infused with green hatch chilies that she fell in love with in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Heidi’s recipe has truly evolved from her roots to become one of her own.
At the urging of her coworkers, Heidi entered her salsa in The 30th Anniversary of Los Angeles Farmers Markets salsa contest in 2009. After the careful consideration of 10 judges, “The Loco Local by Luko” took 1st place among the 12 salsas present that day. Once the shock of winning subsided, Heidi started to explore possibilities for spreading her salsa to everyone. She wanted it to embody those Mexican fiestas she was surrounded by all her years of growing up.
“If only I could jar up all the love and revelry of generations in the kitchen.”
Señores y Señoritas,