Danny Trejo shares why he feels food brings people together, interview

Danny Trejo for Tostitos 5 Ways to Cinco, photo provided by Tostitos
Danny Trejo for Tostitos 5 Ways to Cinco, photo provided by Tostitos /

Many people instantly recognize Danny Trejo from his iconic roles, but those roles are only one part of the multi-faceted man. As a successful restaurateur, Trejo has discovered the power that food holds.

During a recent conversation regarding this partnership with Tostitos for the Five Ways to Cinco campaign, Trejo emphasized the importance of food bringing people together. Whether it is the celebration of Mexican holiday, Cinco de Mayo, or any day, the time spent around the table is more important than ever.

As the owner of Trejos Tacos, Trejo appreciates that the restaurant industry faced immense struggles in the past year. While his restaurant group found ways to adapt, the reality is that some aspects of the tumultuous year did have positive aspects.

Trejo shared that he believes “food brings us together.” That simple, profound statement is something that many people seem to overlook. Specifically, Trejo said “right now we need togetherness.” In many ways, that sentiment has given many people hope.

One of the reasons why Trejo believes that his restaurants were able to stay open was “because we fed the homeless.” In some ways that bowl of carne asada was the hope that people needed. From the homeless who received a meal to hospital workers and first responders who knew that people cared and supported them, those efforts showed that food is a unifying factor.

Trejo very candidly share that “everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else.” That sentiment is an idea that may be overlooked by others. In many ways, the concept of putting others first needs to be rediscovered.

As Trejo commented, “doing a favor on a low budget movie ‘Badass’ turned into a trilogy, which lead to meeting a producer, which led to the idea of opening a restaurant.” In many ways that good deed has a positive impact far beyond the initial act.

Danny Trejo believes “every good thing that has happened to me has been a direct result of helping someone else.”

For Trejo, fostering connections between people has been a positive in his life. Whether it is his upcoming family reunion, giving back to the community or just supporting others, the decision to act with generosity and kindness is clear. While not always obvious, food can be that simple way to unite people when other options may not work as seamlessly.

While that bowl of Tostitos served with his carne asada might not seem like a life changing event, there is nourishment that far exceeds the satisfaction of a hunger. It is about hearing others, not just listening to the words.

Trejo share a simple point. His example about including vegan options on this menu stemmed from hearing people. One of the reasons why his restaurants’ menus have vegan and gluten-free options is because everyone has to eat. After hearing people at dinner order “just a salad,” he wanted everyone to have options around the table. It might sound simple, but thoughtfulness should never be discounted.

In some ways, Trejo’s collaboration with Tostitos on this 5 Ways to Cinco can be that step to getting people back together. From the small gathering to the connection from afar, food can be that catalyst to bring people together. And, maybe people can talk about more topics than just the weather.

Whether this Cinco de Mayo brings a gigantic spread of food at home, maybe a special dinner brought to a neighbor down the street, or even sending some Tostitos chips and dip to a family member across the country, the reality is that people thrive with connections and food offers that.

Between all the crunching and dipping, let the words of Danny Trejo season this year’s Cinco de Mayo celebration. Good things can happen by helping others.

Cliff Crooks believes that a great restaurant starts with its chefs. light. Related Story

How do you use food to bring people together? Could your bowl of Tostitos and dip be serve a little extra conversation?