Born in Cordoba, Veracruz, Mexico, Chef Elia was exposed to the fascinating world of cookery from a very young age. Culinary exploration was encouraged in her home, as her grandmother initiated a catering business at the young age of 16, which reached all levels of clientele from Mexican society, celebrities, from Presidents to the Kings of Spain. A generational heirloom, Elia’s grandmother imparted both traditional Mexican and international cuisine to her through the years.
Chef Elia attended The Culinary Institute of Mexico where she graduated as an Executive Chef with a specialization in pastry. She has developed an array of techniques through her many global stops training in Spain, France, Belgium, Italy and Canada, putting a bit of herself into every dish she creates. Her travels have afforded Elia the opportunity to work alongside some of the top pastry chefs the likes of Jordi Butron, Xano Saguer, Walter Volt and Ricardo Martinez.
In 2003, Chef Elia followed her roots and brought with her, the tradition of authentic Mexican cuisine to Canada. As an established culinary stalwart, she continues to draw inspiration from both her grandmother and mother to this day. Like any good recipe, success is a product of the fine balance of good ingredients, passion and dedication; all of what continues to drive Chef Elia today.
An acclaimed star on both Top Chef Canada and Top Chef Mexico, Chef Elia is known for her culinary lineage in food forward Toronto culminating with her ownership and chef leadership under the Los Colibri brands through the years. Known for her dynamic style of upscale Mexican delicacies, Herrera, most-recently extended her passion and love for food to the vegan community, with the newest addition, LosCo Vegan to the family. It has proven to be success highlighting intricate Mexican flavour and techniques to both vegan and non-vegan palates alike
Along with her numerous features on primetime shows, Chef Elia continues to garner attention having been featured on all media levels such as Breakfast Television, Morning Live, and publications like Toronto Life and Post City to name a few. She also has appeared as judge on Master Chef Canada and been recognized as having the best Tacos Al Pastor in Toronto. Chef Elia is often sought after to participate in national and international food and drink festivals/competitions capping it off with a Gold Medal win at the 2018 Canada’s Great Kitchen Party (formerly the Gold Medal Plates).
Herrera’s strong sense of community and giving back is present in Canada and Mexico. She has worked with Second Harvest Canada’s largest food rescue charity, Eat to the Beat. It’s the only event in Canada of women supporting women through the challenges that come with a breast cancer diagnosis. She also created “Salut forMexico” to support people affected by earthquake in Mexico on September 2017.