HOUSTON - It’s not every day you meet people who have been able to make their wildest dreams come true, let alone get paid for them.
For Chris Flores, 34, the dream was to travel the state of Texas and try different tacos in different cities to showcase their uniqueness.
And very soon, he’ll be able to pay a visit to Houston and examine the city’s diverse food scene.
‘Everyone who knew me always knew how passionate I was about tacos," he said in an interview. "And a lot of that passion came from, you know, obviously being Mexican American and eating tacos my whole life."
So when the opportunity came from Favor delivery to apply for a summer position as the company's Chief Taco Officer, he knew without hesitation he should apply.
"I would say like the first hour, at least 30 people who know me, tag me, or send it to me in my DMs," Flores explained. "And they were like, ‘Chris, this is something you have to do, you have to apply for this position.’"
Already having previous experience covering tacos in his hometown of San Antonio, Flores said the position’s timing was perfect.
"Five years prior to this, I was already covering tacos locally, and I said, ‘you know what? Man, this is right up my alley,’" he explained. "If I didn't do this, I would probably kick myself later and be like, man, why didn't I at least try it?"
Flores officially took the reins of Chief Taco Officer for Favor in June. So far, he's traveled to Dallas, Corpus Christi, and Austin. He expects to make a trip to Houston before the end of September.
"I have quite a few friends who are from Houston and who covered tacos, and I see their Instagram posts, and it's like, ‘man, I can hardly wait to get to Houston,’" Flores said.
While on the surface, Flores' position seems like an elite food critic of tacos, he explained it's to really educate and break down the uniqueness behind Tex-Mex cuisine and even fusion tacos. For example, one of his favorite tacos he's tried so far were Korean tacos.
"I would say probably Korean tacos are my favorite…I've had Bulgogi (marinated thin beef slices) which is like crazy to me - it's almost like a Korean al pastor (Shepard style pork)," Flores explained. "I just feel that those spices they just do well the tortilla, and it's just similar… I would say most of my friends who are Mexican American, if we're not eating Mexican food, we're generally eating Asian foods somehow… those two cultures, man, they mesh well together."
The position was meant for only two months, but Flores said it was extended to attend more stops across Texas. Additionally, he hopes to continue his work with Favor.
"What I'm hoping is that we continue to educate folks on tacos and that's what the whole campaign is about - literally, you know, hats off to Favor," Flores said. "I always say, I'm not doing this because obviously, I work for them, but just the fact that this company, which is a large company, recognized how much impact that the taco had had on Texas, and they said, 'you know what we're gonna do? We're gonna showcase that, and you know, we're gonna get someone to elaborate on why it's so important.'"
As we enter Hispanic Heritage Month, Flores concluded that he hopes more people will continue to support local restaurants but also not hesitate to experience other flavors from different taco restaurants and recognize its importance to Texas history.
"During Hispanic Heritage Month, I would just ask the people to go out to your favorite Taqueria, or maybe find a new favorite Taqueria," he said. "Texas' contribution to America is the taco, that's recorded in history and if we don't do the best we can to preserve that tradition…we introduced tacos to the United States, and we should be proud of it."