Brooke Warden

Inspired by classic Mexican cuisine, Pink Cactus owner Brooke Warden, a Charleston native and certified sommelier, set forth to fill the gap in Charleston’s quickly growing food scene. Diving head first into researching Mexican fare, Brooke started with a trip to the interior of Mexico and then on to Oaxaca. Home to the seven classic mole sauces and heralded for their heirloom corn, Warden became immediately enamored by Oaxaca, finding it a completely different expression of Mexican cuisine than she knew before previously. Being academically obsessed with the etymology of each ingredient she uses, she completed a series of research trips to learn as much as she could about Oaxacan cuisine and tradition. With her travels she brought back a reverence for Oaxacan ingredients and techniques.

While in Mexico, Brooke met the founder of Masienda, who proudly partners with farmers on both sides of the border to grow, source and offer the most flavorful, nutritious and real ingredients as possible. Masienda supports the agricultural biodiversity and sustainability of these independent farmers. Pink Cactus is proudly using this heirloom corn to make the masa used for the tortillas and tamales. Grinding in house this beautiful and flavorful corn; the tortillas are distinctly different in aromatics and textures. They become the perfect vessel to soak up all the moles made in house.

Pink Cactus is located downtown at 100-A Spring Street in the Cannonborough-Elliotborough neighborhood of Charleston.