In Conversation with Jorge Oviedo

Jorge Oviedo Mexican Kitchen

Jorge Oviedo’s Mexican Kitchen is a testament to the dreams and aspirations that a city like Broken Hill can produce.

Initially from Ecuador, Mr Oviedo left a promising set of careers as a tour guide, chef, and bar tender to relocate to Australia in 2007 for better working opportunities and to start his family.

After living in Sydney for a year, he moved to Broken Hill and quickly took up job opportunities as an aspiring chef. Local businesses from the Sturt, the Musos, and the Legion Club, as well as the Silverton Hotel, all hosted Mr Oviedo as he attained his Australian qualifications as a Chef.

“When I came to Broken Hill, my first job was at the Maidens Hotel in Menindee while their Chef was on holidays,” Mr Oviedo said. He added that it was a difficult job as he was thrown in the role with little training. But with great support from management, he excelled during his time at Maidens. From there, this gave him the confidence to move through Broken Hill’s local eatery circles.

While Mr Oviedo worked hard at these establishments, he held dreams of one day opening his own business, but he acknowledged that “it is very hard, and it’s difficult to start your own business.”

In a strange twist of fate, the onset of the COVID pandemic in March 2020 gave Mr Oviedo the push he needed to open his own business, as he found himself without work when the country was plunged into lockdown.

In the space of a few short weeks, Mexican Kitchen came to life as a take-away business at 198 Argent Street. Almost four years later, the business is going as strong as ever.

“We trialled opening different days and times, and now we have settled on opening from Thursday to Saturday 5pm-8pm as a take-away shop, but people can dine in if they want too,” Mr Oviedo mentioned.

With his menu reflecting his Ecuadorian heritage, he has bought a range of new foods and flavours to the Silver City.

‘We change the menu every now and then to keep it exciting and new for the customers. Meals such as our Fiesta have always been popular and have remained the same on our menu,” Mr Oviedo noted.

Aside from opening the business three-days-a-week, Mr Oviedo, along with wife Ale and son Jorge, feature regularly at the local Community Markets, selling a range of menu items to give locals a taste of his skills and cuisine.

While Mr Oviedo is living the Australian dream of business ownership, his work is not without its challenges. Staffing has been a constant struggle since he opened the doors, and he continues to have difficulties finding suitable staff for food preparation and delivery.

“We advertise on Facebook, we give interviews, we do trial days, but it seems we just can’t find someone looking for a little bit of work for a couple of evenings a week,” an exasperated Mr Oviedo mused.

Nevertheless, he understands this is a countrywide issue, and many of his competitors locally are reporting the same struggles.

As Mexican Kitchen prepare to celebrate four years of business in April, Mr Oviedo is inviting the community to try his cuisine.

Mexican Kitchen can be contacted on Facebook on their page, “Mexican Kitchen,” and phone orders and bookings can be made by calling 0487 973 744 during their opening hours.

Support the Barrier Truth!

We are a small, independently owned newspaper. If you got something from this article, giving something back helps us to continue publishing the truth from the Broken Hill region. Every little bit counts.

More Articles