- Lissette Morales Willis, 33, is a chef and food-cart owner based in Portland, Oregon.
- She and her husband opened their food cart Poppyseed in January 2020 to make fine-dining foods more accessible.
- This is what her job is like, as told to freelance writer Molly O’Brien.
This as-told-to essay is based on a transcribed conversation with Lissette Morales Willis, a food cart owner based in Portland, Oregon. It has been edited for length and clarity.
I grew up in Rubidoux, California, where there weren’t a lot of fine dining options. My parents worked a lot, so in high school I started taking on the responsibility of cooking our dinners.
At 23, I began a cooking apprenticeship at The 10th Restaurant, a seasonal restaurant at a mountaintop resort in Vail, Colorado. There, I met my husband, Tim, and we both experienced “fancy” food for the first