La Feria restaurant in Detroit was certainly not in the cards for owner Pilar Baron Hidalgo when she moved to the area 20 years ago. But after impressing her friends with her cooking, a little peer pressure, and winning $50,000 at a contest, she opened what became the city’s sole Spanish restaurant.
In this episode of Cooking in America, host Sheldon Simeon learns that Baron Hidalgo only planned on staying in Detroit for three years max when she arrived, anxious to return to her home of Seville, Spain. “That first year I cried every single day, thinking ‘What am I doing here?’” says Baron Hidalgo. But with the Spanish economy going through its biggest recession in decades, the opportunity to return home never came. Now she sees La Feria as a daily celebration of her beloved Spain and its tapas culture.