The FLX FAQsA semi-regular column in which we nose our way into the minds and kitchens of Finger Lakes foodies.
Peter Browning, Chef/Owner of Viva Taqueria in Ithaca
Founded in 1995, Viva Taqueria is a California-style taqueria run by Peter Browning and his wife Ursula —a place to get fast, healthy, delicious Mexican food at inexpensive prices. It’s a favorite among locals and college students alike. We took a minute to chat with Peter about his food life outside of Viva.
Edible Finger Lakes: What is the most interesting thing you always keep in your fridge?
Peter Browning: Linzano Salsa. My daughter brought me some from her middle school trip to Costa Rica. It creates excitement from nothing! I will crave it until l I figure out how to replicate it.
EFL: What’s the last meal you cooked for yourself?
PB: Spatchcocked Chicken, Green Beans, New Potatoes and Slaw.
EFL: What’s the one kitchen tool you couldn’t live without?
PB: A coffee French Press, because if you can’t wake up then you can’t start cooking.
EFL: What was the first Finger Lakes wine/beer/spirit you ever tasted?
PB: Hazlitt Red Cat in 1985, I don’t remember drinking it but I remember it was first.
EFL: What was the first Finger Lakes-made food product you remember having?
PB: Purity Ice Cream… still going strong.
EFL: If you could add one item to the Finger Lakes foodshed that isn’t already there, what would it be?
PB: It is high time the Cornell Ag School develops a harvestable shellfish from Cayuga Lake.
EFL: What does it mean to you to be a part of the Finger Lakes foodshed?
PB: Keeping it local is such a win/win proposition. Better quality and neighbors supporting neighbors just makes sense. We all grow together.
Viva Taqueria is open everyday, 11am-10pm 101 North Aurora Street, Ithaca, 607.277.1752, vivataqueria.com
Photo by Carly Browning