Latin Fusion Gourmet: Engineering a Quality Product

Sometimes a good dinner party can change your life. “I received lots of compliments from friends and neighbors about my empanadas and other cooking,” said Andrea Gomez, owner of Latin Fusion Gourmet. “With their encouragement, I decided to go all in and start my own business.”

Gomez, a Venezuelan native who has lived in the U.S. since 2000, was working as a quality engineer for an oilfield services company when she had an idea for a unique blend of cultural cuisine. “My parents are Chilean and empanadas are a staple of South American diets,” she said. “However, I didn’t want to fry them like traditional empanadas. So I experimented with baking them instead.”

Her “experiments” have led to a tasty array of empanadas featuring beef, chicken, shrimp, corn, mushrooms, spinach and ricotta cheese. From her commercial kitchen in North Houston, Gomez also prepares ceviche, tequeños and a delicious Venezuelan lemonade which uses cane sugar and limes. “I also make paella for private functions,” she said. Gomez offers catering services within a 10-mile radius around Katy, where she lives with her husband and twin daughters.

In business for herself since April, Gomez started selling at the Westchase District Farmers Market in September. She said customer feedback has been positive. “I enjoy seeing the looks on people’s faces when they taste a free sample and I can tell that they really like the empanada,” she said. “It’s one of the best parts of my day at the market.”

You can come taste a free sample of Gomez’s empanadas yourself when you stop by the Westchase Farmers Market every Thursday starting at 3 p.m. at the corner of Westheimer and Rogerdale. For more information about Latin Fusion Gourmet, visit facebook.com/latinfusiongourmet or call Gomez at 281-685-7068.