The ingredients for El Sur’s empanadas are sourced from Northern California’s best purveyors. 

El Sur was started by Marianne Despres, a classically trained chef with roots in Argentina and France. Upon graduating from the Cordon Bleu in Paris, she continued her culinary training in some of the world’s best kitchens including Potel et Chabot and the French Laundry.

After running a successful catering business in the Bay Area specializing in fine French cuisine, Marianne realized she most enjoyed cooking and sharing the food she grew up with, specifically the empanadas from her childhood. Marianne developed the recipes for El Sur’s empanadas using old-fashioned techniques and the finest local ingredients. Our beef is sourced from Five Dot Ranch, a local ranch run by a family who has been in the cattle business for seven generations. The dough is made in house, the beef is hand-cut, and each empanada is folded and crimped by hand.

El Sur’s fully restored vintage 1970 Citroen H-Van is the first of its kind in the SF Bay Area

H-Vans are commonly used as catering and delivery vehicles in France and the UK and also, in Argentina. Citroen has a long history in Argentina, where they have been manufactured for over 50 years.

Our van originally hails from Auxerre, France, where it was used as a market van selling vintage clothing at farmers markets all over the Burgundy region.