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Who We Are

Immigrant Food is an idea that a great team made happen.

Enrique Limardo

Co-Founder and Chef

Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Chef Enrique Limardo has garnered inspiration from working in many countries. His culinary inspirations are, of course, from the beaches of his native country’s Margarita Island and the street foods of Caracas. But his cooking also reflects the coconuts of Barbados, the za’atar of Doha and Dubai and the curries of Hong Kong and Bangkok — all places where Enrique worked and thrived. Attracted to Washington by the metro area’s bubbling food scene and endless diversity, he co-founded Immigrant Food as an homage to America’s immigrant diversity. He is also the chef and co-owner of Seven Reasons, the highly acclaimed restaurant that celebrates the flavors and culinary traditions of Latin America. Seven Reasons was recently named  #1 Best New Restaurant in America in Esquire’s famed November 2019 restaurant issue, and Washington D.C.’s #1 restaurant by Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsma. Enrique is also the culinary director of Chicken+Whiskey, the hip South American chicken joint and neighborhood whiskey bar on D.C.’s 14th Street. Prior to arriving in Washington, Enrique was, from 2014 to 2019, Executive Chef at Alma Cocina Latina, in Baltimore, Maryland. Alma’s inventive fare earned local and international accolades. In 2016, Enrique was named the best chef in Baltimore by Baltimore Magazine.

Peter Schechter

Co-Founder

Born in Rome, Italy, Peter speaks six languages and is a shaking pot of immigrant mixes. Until the age of six, he spoke only Italian at home in Rome with his parents who immigrated to the United States from Austria and Germany. He then moved to Latin America for almost a decade. Peter is Immigrant Food’s intellectual author; the idea is an homage to his parents and particularly his mom, who was a chain immigrant to the United States. Peter is a recognized global policy expert, political adviser and business leader. His 25 years of experience include political campaigns in Latin America, Africa and Asia, private enterprise advisory, and launching non-profits and new media startups. During this time, Peter was also a Board member and a long-time investor in José Andrés’ restaurant group. Peter also hosts and produces Altamar, a critically acclaimed global affairs podcast. Until a few years ago, he was the Founding Director of the Atlantic Council’s Latin America Center. He owned Agur Winery, a boutique winery in Israel, and co-manages a Virginia goat farm. Immigrant Food is gastroadvocacy, the perfect bridge between Peter’s political consulting career and food experience.

Ezequiel Vázquez-Ger

Co-Founder

Born in Argentina, Ezequiel brings his can-do business acumen to his third 2019 startup. With Enrique Limardo, Ezequiel opened the hyper-successful Seven Reasons, named the #1 DC restaurant by the Washington Post and the #1 Best New Restaurant in America in Esquire’s famed November, 2019 restaurant issue.  He also launched Immigrant Food and then the most important startup of all was the birth of Alma, his second child. Busy year, 2019.  Ezequiel is Immigrant Food’s business leader, ensuring the company is poised for success and growth. Until 2017, Ezequiel led his own public affairs firm, focusing on Latin America. He represented clients from the U.S. and Latin America, ranging from media conglomerates to human rights defenders. In 2016, Ezequiel was named one of the 40 under 40 Latinos in foreign policy by the Huffington Post. He was a Latin American Fellow at the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, a nonprofit connecting a global think tank network.

Téa Ivanovic

Director of Communications and Outreach

Born in Belgium to parents from the former Yugoslavia and recruited to the United States by Virginia Tech’s Division 1 Varsity tennis team, Téa calls herself an immigrant squared. She still can’t figure out if Serbian, Flemish or English is her native language – she speaks all of them equally. Her professional career includes creating and implementing strategic communications for international policy and politics at a Washington D.C. think tank, and global financial matters at a financial public and media relations firm. Tea is also the first Washington Correspondent for Oslobodjenje, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s oldest newspaper and leading news outlet in the Western Balkans. She graduated with a master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

Frank Ortiz

Director of Operations

Born in El Salvador, Frank is a highly experienced restaurant professional with nearly two decades in Washington’s mushrooming food scene. He met Peter in the early 90’s at his first job at Jaleo, the then recently-opened gastronomic small plate revolutionary restaurant with José Andrés as chef. After, he worked for Richard Sandoval and, most recently, as director of operations for Unconventional Diner.

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