A James Beard Award recognizes chefs, restaurateurs, authors and journalists in the United States.

Established over 30 years ago, the Foundation has highlighted the centrality of food culture in our daily lives and is committed to supporting a resilient and flourishing industry that honors its diverse communities.

The awards are voted on by more than 600 culinary professionals, including previous award winners. Recipients receive a medallion etched with the image of James Beard and a certificate from the foundation.

Ana Liz Pulido, owner of Ana Liz Taqueria, won a James Beard Award this year, 2024, for best chef in Texas at the James Beard Foundation awards ceremony Monday.

Jeff Schear / Getty Images for James Beard Foundation
Jeff Schear / Getty Images for James Beard Foundation

Pulido gave her acceptance speech half in English and half in Spanish, expressing how honored she felt to represent the Texas borderlands and finishing her speech by exclaiming, “¡Viva Mexico!”

Pulido credits her dad for fostering her love of cooking and continuing to fuel her passion for the culinary world.

The taquería holds only five tables. However, she plans to to expand the restaurant.

Its small menu, including a chile relleno taco and chef-recommended espadas, is influenced by Pulido’s travels to Mexico.

After looking over the menu it is making me hungry and want to try it too. I would drive down to Mission for this food.

Ana Liz Taqueria
Ana Liz Taqueria

Ana Liz Taqueria serves all the classics, from tacos to tortas, but what puts her on top is the foundation of them all: fresh tortillas. Unlike many "from scratch" locations, Ana Liz Taqueria takes pride in its tortillas, as they are made with fresh, in-house masa. 

Prices for tacos start at $2.25 and go up to $3.50. Specialty tacos range between $3.40 and $4.20. Other menu item prices are sold between $3 and $8.50, which includes antojitos, espada, vampiro, quesadilla, and botanas.

Her flour tortillas, however, are made by her mother. Pulido’s business has always been a family affair, according to Texas Monthly. As a teenager, Pulido was inspired by her father's taquerías in Mexico and eventually began to sell her own snacks, chamoyadas and loaded tortilla chips next to one of them. Her father was the first person she thanked onstage when she won the award.

Last year, Pulido was a semifinalist in the same category, only two years after opening Ana Liz Taqueria in 2021.

Ana Liz Taqueria is located in a shopping plaza at 215 N. Conway Ave., Mission, Texas, 78572.

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