Restaurant family has winning recipe for Children's Museum Tucso - Tucson News Now

Restaurant family has winning recipe for Children's Museum Tucson

Market at Children's Museum Tucson. (Source: Tucson News Now) Market at Children's Museum Tucson. (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A Tucson family that is leaving a lasting legacy in good food is now extending that gift to the Children's Museum Tucson.

El Charro Restaurant and the museum are becoming a match made in foodie heaven.

Anyone who has lived in Tucson for any length of time likely has eaten at or, at least heard of, the Flores' family's  El Charro Restaurant.

Now the Flores' three adult children are celebrating the 50-year marriage of their parents with a gift to them and to Tucson.

They will help renovate a portion of the Children's Museum Tucson that is now a marketplace but soon will be the Flores Mercado. It's where children learn about good health and healthy eating.

The mercado will feature a kitchen and a play garden where children can learn about local Native and Mexican food and culture.

"Children need to know about their roots, but we're talking that the best way to tell children certain things is do it through food. as far as family traditions, family likes, dislikes," said El Charro Chef/Owner Carlotta Flores.

"Anything involved with the kids. Like we just came from a school and we were talking about food with the kids there and, again, educating kids," said her husband, Ray Flores.

Their son, Ray, Jr., said, he and his siblings thought about giving their parents an anniversary vacation or something similar, but realized a lasting legacy would be to work with an organization that gives back to children.
 
"Our parents have lived a life of commitment and dedication to the Tucson community. They've been all about family for 50 years and the idea came about that we should do something that would be good for children," he said.

"I want them to know that there's no reason that they should not know how to cook certain foods so that they themselves can carry on the traditions and the work that goes behind keeping the family unit close," said Carlotta Flores.

"They'll be able to explore ingredients that are indigenous to the region. So I think it really sets the stage for their understanding and their learning and development when it comes to food," said Children's Museum Tucson Executive Director Michael Luria.

"One of the things that's important about the Children's Museum Tucson is to have a sense of community and when we have an opportunity to partner with a local family and a local organization, as we do in other exhibits, but now in Bodyology--that's just so important to sort of creating that sense of place," Luria said.

"It's an honor. It's a great honor," said Ray Flores, Sr.

Phase one of the renovation is done.

The Flores Mercado is expected to be completed in November. 

If you'd like to check out the changes at the Children's Museum Tucson, admission is free on Saturday, September 17.

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