At Buenas, a Somerville, Massachusetts, pair brings their South American culinary roots to the public with savory sauces and empanadas.
Call their empanadas delicious. Call them nutritious. Just don’t call them Mexican.
Melissa Stefanini and Sebastian Galvez tire of folks corralling all foods south of the border under one umbrella. Their joint food venture, Buenas, showcases the incredible diversity of South American cuisines through a range of empanadas and specialty sauces such as chimichurri and pebre. The American-born couple share Argentinian, Uruguayan, and Chilean heritage; Galvez has a Chilean father and an Uruguayan mother, while Stefanini is the daughter of Argentinian immigrants. Add a pinch of New England into the mix—root medley empanada, anyone?—and you’ve got a recipe for a runaway hit.
Buenas started modestly by catering small events around Boston. After opening a storefront in Somerville’s Union Square, Galvez and Stefanini are looking to take operations wholesale, using the retail arm as a testing ground for new products. The motivation? To bring the home cooking they remember to a wider audience more quickly, and to inspire people to cook at home more using a pantry full of products that Buenas is currently crafting.
No more heavy sighs when it comes to dinner prep: Buenas is on a mission to make food less complicated, and less of a chore. “Cooking is about learning, exploring, participating,” says Stefanini. It’s the way you build friendships, community, and family.”