Kirkwood High School student newspaper

Zaira Hernandez-Vazquez

November 3, 2021

Zaira+Hernandez-Vazquez%2C+sophomore%2C+has+developed+a+love+for+cooking+from+her+mother+and+grandmother.

Annie George

Zaira Hernandez-Vazquez, sophomore, has developed a love for cooking from her mother and grandmother.

A home cooked meal means family to Zaira Hernandez-Vazquez, sophomore. Hernandez-Vazque said cooking is a way to connect with her family. “My mother moved to the U.S. [from Mexico] when she was 14 years old and my dad moved here around 16 years old. My [maternal] grandmother grew up in Mexico City.”

Because of her heritage, Hernandez-Vazquez said she grew up around Hispanic dishes. “I would spend a lot of time with my grandmother and she would cook, which [developed] an interest in cooking [I’ve had] ever since I was a little kid.”

Sadly, cooking will never be quite the same to her after the death of her mother last summer. “While [the death of my mother] was a big transition, it has not changed my school learning. I want to get my grades up from last year. I like to have good grades, it makes me feel better about myself as a whole.”

One of Hernandez-Vazquez’s motivations in high school is that she hopes to go to culinary school to pursue cooking. While she hasn’t decided where she wants to study, this is a life path that will allow her to connect with her Hispanic heritage and family. “I [still] want to go to a cooking school to be a chef. Growing up my mom used to always cook and I would be in the kitchen with her. Cooking is a way to connect with both [my mom] and my grandmother.”

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