“I grew up in the southwest and this dish brings back the familiar sensations of ‘home.'”

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Caila’s a chef and owner of Pig & the Peanut 🐷🥜

Get to know Caila in this Q&A, and get her “Chile con carne” TONIGHT (11/5) from 6:30-8:30PM! Follow her on Insta @pigandthepeanut!

Q: How did you first learn to cook and what’s your cooking background?

Caila: I grew up in a large, incredibly culturally diverse family who all expressed their love through one thing, FOOD. And lots of it. I was blessed to be surrounded by fantastic home cooks from Brazil & Morocco and trained classically from Okinawa & Naples.

Caila’s beef stew!


After school, a string of jobs in offices and kitchens came my way, but I always, somehow ended up back in my own kitchen. And that’s where I decided to plant my roots and start my own business. I’ve been working as a private event and pop up dinner chef for almost 6 years and have had the opportunity to do some really fun things with food.

Q: What can you tell us about the dish you’re making and what inspired it?

Caila: My first dish for Shmeal will be Chile Con Carne. This month marked the 125th anniversary of the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago and Chile Con Carne happened to be sold at a pop up San Antonio Chili joint. It’s actually the first iteration of the American chili (with beans) that we know of today and was originally made by Tejana and Mexican women back in Texas.

Caila’s “Chile con carne w creamy polenta & corn tortillas” TONIGHT (11/5) from 6:30-8:30PM!


I grew up in the southwest and this dish brings back the familiar sensations of “home” and warms me up in my new home, thousands of miles away, in the midwest.

Q: What do you think about when you make this dish?

Caila: The dish makes me reminisce on drive-thru Mexican joints in Arizona that make the BEST Chile Con Carne. It’s always difficult to find in other states, since it’s basically native to the southwest, and a bowl of this brings me back to the warm desert on cold midwestern nights.

Caila’s tacos!


Q: Anything else we should know about you and your cooking?

Caila: I love cooking all different kinds of cuisines and especially love being challenged. Food memories motivate me and I am ALWAYS up for suggestions!

Follow Caila and get her “Chile con carne” TONIGHT (11/5) from 6:30-8:30PM! ❤

By Shmeal

The Shmeal Team. 🐖💻

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