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Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Eder and Stephanie Rivas answer the ultimate question: What’s That You’re Cooking?

Alfredo Menjivar
Eder Rivas demonstrating how to make a pupusa inside their food truck “What’s That You’re Cookin’?”

Eder and Stephanie Rivas are a married couple that owns a popular Salvadoran food truck called “What’s That You’re Cookin?” that goes all around to do catering and pop ups.

Orange County and Los Angeles County is where they do most of their catering and pull up to places.

Eder had quite the story to tell on how he and his wife Stephanie started their business.

“One day I was hungry so I went to my grandma’s house and I asked grandma to make me some pupusas and she said ‘Come mierda hijo de puta,'” Eder said.

“She said you need to make it yourself,” he continued, “and so two weeks later my grandma invites me over and she taught me how to make everything and honestly that’s how it all started.”

Before the truck came into the picture, Eder began telling people that he made pupusas, and with a sudden desire for his food, he started selling them at work.

It was an opportunity for people to embrace their culture and Eder enjoys being of help to them.

“It’s just crazy how it started,” he said with an astonished expression. “It’s not like I wanted this. I was just hungry and here I am now.”

Alfredo Menjivar

Eder and Stephanie would go to pop-up events, similar to the one that was occurring in Santa Ana, in hopes of growing their business.

They also go to other local Salvadoran events three times a year, where small businesses are brought together to build their bond and uplift the community.

Eder goes in-depth on how they were able to stay afloat when the worst of the pandemic came around in 2020.

He said that they had to really adjust to the new normal and improvise with their business. They started with online orders and pick-up, as well as delivery.

They then started to create merchandise such as stickers, hats, shirts, etc. to keep their business alive -otherwise, it would have been more difficult to stay open.

Social media was another key factor that kept them going. Stephanie proved the brains behind their social media accounts and gave updates on what was next for their food truck.

One of their more unique sources of revenue is their pupusa-making class. They had to move their pupusa classes from in-person sessions to online Instagram videos.

Eder and Stephanie got their idea for their pupusa class after the wife of a friend said that she wanted to learn how to make the dish.

They saw this as another business opportunity and decided to take the leap.

The influence that they have had on local SoCal Salvadorans is quite inspiring.

For instance, the mother of a student they had in their pupusa class unfortunately passed away but upon taking the class, the daughter was taught things that her mother wasn’t able to learn.

Eder said that the best message he ever received was when a girl who took his pupusa class said that when she made the food for her family, they said her grandmother would’ve been very proud of her.

Along with his business, Eder wants to help grow his community and culture and hopes to make it happen in the future.

Stephanie is Mexican, not Salvadoran, but wants to help share her husband’s culture with as many people as possible.

“What this food means to me is extending my husband’s culture to other people and spreading knowledge to myself and other people,” Stephanie said. “This food means home.”

The future is as bright as the sun for “What’s That You’re Cookin’?” and the couple is persistent with hope to spread their love of culture and community to restaurants in the near future.

“The future is whatever this universe wants to give me,” Eder said, “but my goal is to have a restaurant and be able to do more and show more of what we can do.”

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About the Contributor
Alfredo Menjivar
Alfredo Menjivar, Sports Editor
Alfredo Menjivar is the sports editor for Talon Marks. Alfredo loves watching ice hockey, specifically the Los Angeles Kings. He wishes to transfer to Cal State Long Beach to pursue his career of being a sports/hockey writer and possibly play hockey for the university of his hometown.
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Eder and Stephanie Rivas answer the ultimate question: What’s That You’re Cooking?