Who is Maria del Carmen Vicario?

Lover of, and specialist in Empanadas Mendocinas, with a puff pastry dough that has its own unique stamp.

María del Carmen Vicario is known to everyone as "La Chacha". For more than fifteen years she has worked in the Casa del Visitante restaurant at the Santa Julia winery in Mendoza, Argentina. During this time, La Chacha has done everything. She started as a cleaner within the kitchen and, finally she got to do what she loves the most, which is to cook!

La Chacha is in charge of the restaurant's empanadas. Her days are spent next to the clay ovens, moving the fire, filling the discs of homemade dough, making the puff pastry, and offering visitors their empanadas. In addition to being one of the best empanaderas in the country, La Chacha is part of the history and identity of Casa del Visitante. By way of smiles, hugs and affection, - but also a lot of talent - she made her way in the world of cooking and many of the most renowned chefs in the country not only respect her, but also love her.

La Chacha learned to make empanadas at the age of 7, when her mother got sick and she had to take on this responsibility. Her brothers used to heat up the oven and she would prepare the puff pastry.

In 2019, Maria del Carmen won the prize of the Best Empanada in Argentina, at the ‘Concurso Nacional de la Empanada’, in Buenos Aires.

In 2021 La Chacha published a book of her recipes, which today can be found in the best bookstores in Argentina.

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