ODESSA, Texas (KMID/KPEJ)- Last year, the City of Odessa proclaimed October 11 as Chef Alejandro Day because of all the good work Alejandro Barrientos, owner of Curb Side Bistro, has done for the citizens of Odessa. But the story of how the day came to be is one you may not know.

Barrientos said it all started with a petition.

“Two young ladies started a petition on Facebook to actually get Chef Alejandro Day and when I first saw it, I thought it was a prank. Then more and more people started sharing it and it caught wind, got local media attention and somebody from the City of Odessa actually reached out to us and said they were actually going to give us (the day),” said Barrientos. “I was just blown away because of all the struggle that we went through, everything that we’ve done and…the highs and lows, especially with the restaurant industry and the food truck industry. I was just blown away by that, just a super kind gesture.”

Those who signed the petition said they wanted to support Barrientos in return for all he’s done for the community over the years; from offering free Thanksgiving meals to anyone in need, to feeding first responders during the pandemic, to feeding repair crews during a city-wide water outage, and giving out free soup on the coldest of days, Barrientos has made it his mission to use his culinary skills to help as many people as possible.

And in true Barrientos fashion, the chef is using his special day to once again help others. 

“I actually reached out to Sister Dough, which is another local food vendor, and she plans events and…pop up markets and I said, you know the best was to celebrate Chef Alejandro Day is support that small local entrepreneur spirit. What better way than to have a pop-up market. So, i reached out to her and she reached out to her list of vendors and put it together. We got food trucks, we’ve got desserts, we’ve got boutiques, we’ve got candles, all different types of things,” he said. 

If you want to celebrate with Barrientos, you’ll find him and other incredible vendors tonight from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Grace Christian Church, located at 3450 Billy Hext Road.