Chef Becca Gutierrez Schafer sautés fruit and spices for an apple flambé. As a caterer of big and small events, Schafer can cook anywhere, including the backyard. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton
CHEF: Becca Gutierrez Schafer
SIGNATURE DISH: Elote de Mexico
When chef Becca Gutierrez Schafer creates and serves a meal — whether for a finely orchestrated catered event or an intimate dinner for family, friends, or clients — the stories and culture behind the recipes are just as important as the food.
“I grew up appreciating my grandmother’s traditional Mexican cooking,” said Schafer of Becca Events & Catering. Her grandmother’s artistry in the kitchen brought together pieces of her, her family, and her community and culture every time she served a meal. “I had this awareness (from her) that food tells your story.”
While her grandmother’s food told stories of the family and its culture, Schafer’s food tells stories of her travels.
In visits to Mexico, Schafer discovered street corn, a popular Mexican dish served by street vendors that has since become a signature dish, one in which she uses her own secret mix of spices.
“One of the things people know me for is my Elote de Mexico,” she said. “It’s Mexican street corn that’s grilled and combined with different condiments.”
A vague reference to “different condiments” was as specific as she was willing to get.
Another of her travel discoveries, a muffuletta sandwich, recently became an award-winning dish at Horseshoe Bay Resort’s Wine, Dine, and Jazz Festival. She added the muffuletta bread with Italian meats to her repertoire after a trip to New Orleans, where she also learned to whip up bread pudding, again with her own special twist.
Schafer began her tasty travels after graduating high school with a visit to Italy, where food is never just a meal — it’s a life-affirming experience.
“I realized while traveling through Italy, people wanted to tell me their stories through their food,” Schafer said.
Culinary inspiration can be found at home, too, she learned. Foods and flavors of the Texas Hill Country permeate her popular menu options, including an herb-crusted pork tenderloin with grilled peaches, a summertime favorite.
To retain that cultural stamp of authenticity, she buys as much of her meat and produce locally as possible. As for the peaches, well, they’re from Fredericksburg, of course!
To Schafer, food does more than feed; it brings people together through experience.
“Food is a universal unifier,” she said. “The food, the stories, they all come together, and they bring us all together to the table.”