John Moors, originally from Ypsilanti, started his culinary journey in the middle of a retail career managing Best Buys for 16 years. His path to the pop-up kitchen is as unconventional as the fusion cuisine he’s now known for.
He always loved cooking at home and his dishes reflect the food he enjoys eating the most. When his daughter was home from school during COVID lockdowns, he began homeschooling her and to pass time, started a taco pop-up right from his driveway.
A blend of his love for wrestling and cooking pork, Moors’ Lucha Puerco pop-up quickly became a neighborhood sensation. So much so that his driveway pop-up started causing traffic jams, with one event serving up 800 tacos in just 4 hours. From that point, the venture had to move out of the neighborhood and into local bars and businesses around Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor, gaining a loyal following via Instagram.
A self-taught chef, Moors always wanted to put together a menu that showcases his love for big, spicy flavors. The concept of Lucha Puerco brings together his interest in transforming cuts like pork shoulder and brisket into delicacies, through a flavorful marriage of Mexican cuisine and barbecue techniques. Even as offers for brick and mortar spaces and investors came in, Moors opted for patience and learning. He wanted to ensure the cuisine he serves is something he’s truly proud of.
Amidst the whirlwind of success, John Moors still ensures his journey is rooted in community and collaboration. He has worked with and learned from other local foodpreneurs like Side Biscuit, Basil Babe, and Juicy Oistre, together calling themselves the Misfit Biscuits, who all started their businesses selling food from their homes during the pandemic. This network of fellow food artisans came together, promoting and supporting each other in their unique endeavors.
Moors’ culinary journey, from his driveway in Ypsilanti to residencies at renowned establishments, is a testament to his ability to create a menu that always stays exciting. His dishes are far from standard barbecue fare. Instead, they reflect a culmination of influences he’s gathered over 20 years, finally bringing something to the table that he’s genuinely proud of.
Through Lucha Puerco, Moors continues to build bridges between cultures and palates, making food an exciting, communal experience.
Follow Lucha Puerco on Instagram @luchapuerco.