Ricuras de Venezuela means the riches of Venezuela. Really though, this food truck is about family legacy for Marlene Baquet and her son William Zambrano. Baquet explains that it was always her mother’s dream to bring their country’s food to Tucson in an authentic way. After 22 years in the U.S., Baquet is finally getting the opportunity to show off her mother’s recipes that hail from La Guaira, Venezuela.
“My mom always wanted to make an areperia here. She knew it was going to be a bomb but we just never had the time,” Baquet says. “After my mom died, I was inspired to get it going.”
One of the hardest parts for Baquet and her husband Steve was actually getting the truck itself. Over a year ago, they began searching for something with the right grill top to make arepas, finally finding the perfect truck for Ricuras in Sinaloa.
After some customization, Baquet, with the help of her stepson Matthew, who works at Club Congress as a booker, opened the Ricuras window for the first time on Dec. 31 at the hotel’s New Year’s Eve party—serving up piping hot arepas to hungry, slightly inebriated, and very grateful crowds amidst the rain and snow.
Since then, the truck has been parked outside of Hotel Congress on Friday and Saturday nights from 10 p.m. until 3 a.m. for the late night crowd and park throughout Tucson during the week serving lunch and dinner.