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Jacqueline Anaya shifts to private chef and catering service

By Rebecca ChristophersonMarch 8, 2024No Comments

Jacqueline Anaya’s Carne en su Jugo

Chef Jacqueline Anaya’s Carne en su Jugo — meat in its own juices — is a traditional dish from Jalisco, her family’s home state in Mexico. “I like honoring my roots,” she said. “Whenever I think about Jalisco, it reminds me of when I was growing up. That’s the only type of food we grew up eating.” 

Her commitment to authenticity across the board doesn’t go unnoticed. Her birria — meat stew — wins plaudits when people taste it, she said. “I [had] people that come from Guadalajara, and they’re like ‘this birria is the closest to home that we’ve tasted.’”

Anaya has been busy. She opened a food truck called Calisience in February 2020. She survived the COVID-19 pandemic and expanded to a brick-and-mortar location on Race Street in October 2022. But after almost 18 months, Calisience closed in early February. Now, Anaya is offering a private chef and catering service under her name. 

This shift is a return to her roots. Her first job out of high school was working as a private chef for the family her mother nannied for.

Anaya has always wanted to “make a living out of something I enjoy doing that I was good at,” she said. “I really do like cooking for people. I really do enjoy it.” Her goal with catering: find what people like and deliver that, but with her personal touch. “I like a challenge,” she says.

Contact her at


Carne en su Jugo with Pinto Beans

Jacqueline Anaya’s recipe starts with the beef. You can use a thinly sliced flank, eye of round or milanesa (top round). Anaya uses milanesa. Serves 4

1.5 pounds beef, sliced into 1” cubes
8 slices bacon
8 baby tomatillos husked. (Smaller tomatillos are not as overpowering as larger ones)
2 cloves garlic
2 jalapeños
1/8 white onion for blending
3 cups water
1 bunch cilantro, divided into halves
1 tbsp Knorr chicken powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 green onion bunch
1 small lime for garnish
2 12 oz. cans of pinto beans, or homemade (see recipe below)
½ red onion, diced, for garnish
12-16 corn tortillas for serving


For the sauce, combine the jalapeños, tomatillos, garlic, white onion and water in a small saucepan. Cook vegetables over medium heat until the tomatillos and jalapeños soften and lose their brightness. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cool, pour into blender. Add ½ bunch of cilantro, Knorr chicken powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth and set aside.

In a medium pan, cook the bacon until crisp and remove for garnish. Using leftover fat from the bacon, saute the beef and green onions in the pan until the meat is golden brown. Remove green onions and set aside for garnish.

Pour blended tomatillo sauce over the meat and simmer until the meat is tender, about 10-15 minutes. While it’s simmering, prepare the garnish. Chop the bacon into bits, wedge the lime and slice the remaining ½ bunch of cilantro. 

Garnish with the red onion. Serve immediately with corn tortillas.


Pinto Beans 

1 pound dry pinto beans
12 oz. water
4-5 garlic cloves
1/4 white onion
Salt to taste 


Combine beans, water, garlic and onion in a stock pot. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a low-to-medium simmer. After 45 minutes, add salt. Finish cooking for at least 30 minutes and up to one hour, until the beans are tender.