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Meet The Team

Paul and Angelica Morales

Chef Paul Morales was born and raised in San Antonio, TX. The son of a butcher, eager to learn the family trade he spent most of his weekends of his youth helping with the family business at Hy-Grade Meat Company. Always the adventurous eater he later focused his attention to cooking. In the kitchen with his mother Carmen he learned to make some of his favorite dishes like Carne Guisada and Calabacita con Puerco but his favorite was eating fresh made tortillas with butter right off the comal. Eventually attending St. Phillips College he enrolled in the culinary arts program and then matriculated to the Art Institute of San Antonio. Chef Paul was part of the winning team assembled for the “Fine Swine Whole Hog competition,” put together to compete against other cooking programs from South Texas area by South Texas Heritage Pork Farm. The Art Institute team won first place beating out the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, by preparing many delectable dishes from a whole hog. This competition is where Chef Paul met Chef Steve McHugh (Cured Restaurant) and was offered an opportunity to work at Restaurant Lüke on the Riverwalk in downtown San Antonio. Heavily influenced by Chef McHugh’s Charcuterie program Paul had awakened his love of butchery and sausage production. The next year Chef Paul competed again in the “Fine Swine Event” winning first place again with a team assembled from Rockport, TX. One of the judges of the event, Chef John Besh from New Orleans invited Chef Paul to come perform “stagiers” at all of his concepts in New Orleans. Eventually Chef Paul met Chef Alon Shaya (Shaya, Saba, Safta Restaurants) from Restaurant Domenica in the historic Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans where he joined the charcuterie program learning fermented salami production and whole muscle curing techniques. After running several kitchens and eventually working his way up to executive chef Paul decided to walk away from the kitchen to focus on whole animal butchery and focus on his take of charcuterie Mexicano. He decided to move to Los Angeles and study under Master French Butcher Jean-Claude Setin at Le French Butcher. After a year working alongside the master butcher Chef Paul moved back to San Antonio and was hired as Head Butcher at Smoke Shack Meat Market. Once again the siren call of Los Angeles beckoned him back to Los Angeles. Chef Paul fell in love with the quality of produce available and of course the variety of taco trucks and all the flavors available in southern California. He eventually came across “Kernel of Truth Organics Tortillas” a small tortilla company making spectacular tortillas in Boyle Heights. “It was life changing” these types of tortillas are usually only available in high end modern Mexican restaurants. After Covid-19 hit the U.S, Chef Paul lost his job at U.C.L.A. and decided to move back to Texas. Chef Paul missed those tortillas and couldn’t find their equal here in San Antonio. So Ancient Heirloom Grains tortillas were born, our goal is to make these types of tortillas and heirloom products available for everyone. Maiz por todos!!!

Angelica’s career in the kitchen started at a very young age. She was only 12 years old when she started working Garde-Manger station, making salads and other cold dishes for her father's restaurant in Rockport, TX. Eventually working her way across all the stations of the kitchen she learned early on to keep her head down and stay focused in the kitchen. She quickly cultivated her own style and flavor profiles. Gaining more confidence in the kitchen over the years she proved that she has the capabilities to handle the pressures of a professional kitchen with a keen attention to detail. Working alongside her father Chef Paul Morales traveling and eating their way across the U.S. they are the backbone of Ancient Heirloom Grains tortilla production team, as well as co-owner of Tacos Cucuy Food Truck & Catering company.

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