Ismael Popoca Alguilar

Culinary Program Manager

Ismael Popoca Aguilar (he/him/his) was born and raised in Tejalpa, a small town in Mexico, outside the city of Cuernavaca. He proudly considers himself Mexican Mestizo. Since he was little he enjoyed eating hand made tortillas at his grandparents home town, as well as all kinds of food that his mom would prepare on a regular basis. 

Ismael studied Culinary Arts in Mexico, and after he finished his school, he immigrated to Montreal QC, Canada. There he worked in a very diverse and international environment in restaurants, banquet halls and Boutique hotels.

After Montreal he moved to British Columbia to work in an upscale casual dining restaurant in White Rock BC. He then immigrated again to the US landing at PCC Community Markets in Seattle WA, where he worked for 10 years. There he worked in various positions including Deli Lead, Deli Manager, and Store Director.

Ismael believes that there is a strong connection between food and traditions, and between food and well-being.  And that we are part of a system that needs to be respected and honored, just like our ancestors did for centuries in this continent.

Ismael is a native Spanish speaker and also speaks French. On his days off, you can find him at the lakes enjoying nature with his wife and daughter or at home cooking stews in the winter and grilling on charcoal in the summer.