Chef Nora Haron
Chef Nora Haron’s background is Singaporean, of Indonesian-Indian descent. Her grandfather’s family was from the Kerala state in South India and her grandmother’s family was from Java, Indonesia.
Haron’s passion for diverse-influences cooking ignited while helping her mom prep meals in their Singaporean home and tasting her way through the enticing neighborhood ristorantes of Lucca, Italy. Upon returning to California, Haron attended the San Francisco Baking Institute. Burnishing her skill set, most recently as Head Kitchen Manager and Culinary Operations Manager for Blue Bottle Coffee, and previously, Director of Food Operations for Farley’s, as well as Executive Chef at Monkey Forest Road and Crema.
Advocating for super-local, sustainable, organic, and exotic ingredients, Haron is a vanguard in the kitchen and revered baker of artisanal, house-made breads and pastries. She was Executive Chef at Drip Line Oakland, a café and gathering place in the heart of West Oakland, and is now Executive Chef and Partner at Local Kitchen in SoMa SF, Rincon Hill. She is also known for her IndoMex themed pop ups in Oakland, CA.
Chef Mayra Valesquez
Chef Mayra was born in Jalisco, Mexico. The youngest child of 10 children, she and her family moved to California when she was just four years old. With a single mom and a large family, cooking together was their way of valuable family time at the end of a work day.
At the age of 22, armed with her family recipes, Chef Mayra opened her first taqueria in Southern California. A year later, she moved to the SF Bay to get more restaurant experience starting with enrolling herself at Laney College in Oakland.
After graduation, Chef Mayra and her partner Chef Tino opened Xingones at the Laney College Flea Market on Sundays where they were known for their tacos and fried chicken. During the week, Chef Mayra worked as Chef Nora Haron’s Sous Chef at Drip Line Oakland.
When Drip Line Oakland closed, Xingones became more popular and they decided to open their first brick and mortar in Old Oakland. So well loved in the community, they recently appeared on the popular TV Show, Check Please.
While Chef Nora moved on to her Restaurant Group in San Francisco, during the pandemic she created Indomex in Oakland. There was nobody else she would partner with other than Chef Mayra.
The term IndoMex is Chef Nora's take on bridging two cultures that are near and dear to her heart. IndoMex cuisine was inspired by her love with her partner Diego, whose family has roots in Mexico. Together they’ve traveled to each other's homelands and we’re compelled to create dishes that are representative of their relationship, “making food babies,” as Chef Nora puts it, in a recent featured article from Eater SF.
From Coconut Makrut Lime Conchas, Beef Rendang Tamales, to a California inspired Malay Sambal using locally sourced Bay Area ingredients; she is constantly pushing the boundaries in and out of the kitchen. Enter: serendipity. While still searching for that perfect location in the middle of the pandemic, Chef Nora started hosting her pop ups at Xingones Oakland. With former sous chef, friend, and Xingones Owner, Mayra, this dynamic duo have been housing the new-found cuisine to eager diners who are flocking for the mash-up of global flavors.
Together, the cultures of these chefs collide and create a unique blend that transports you to family dinners across the globe -- no matter where you are!
We're so proud to have Chef Nora and Chef Mayra as Tuk Tuk partners and hope you enjoy these delectable confections in honor of their beautifully woven ancestry.