FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – A Visalia TikTok star’s dream came true this week after popular singer Lizzo invited her to cook at her Los Angeles home.
Alejandra Tapia, who was born in Mexico but grew up in Visalia, cooked for Lizzo on Saturday. She said she is still in disbelief but hopes her story inspires others that no matter where you come from anything is possible.
“Inside of me I was like eeeekk,” said Tapia. “But I didn’t want to be like so obvious, but I just wanted her to enjoy her food and everything,” explained Tapia.
Tapia, known by her followers as @NanaJoe19 started posting videos of the lunches she made for her husband to Tik Tok about a year ago.
“Every time I would go and check and I was like oh my gosh, it is at 17K,” said Tapia. “My channel just took off.”
The @NanaJoe19 account went viral and now has more than 4 million followers.
Lizzo commented on a few videos and asked Tapia to cook for her but there was a catch.
“I was like, ‘She is vegan, what am I supposed to do?” questioned Tapia. “I don’t know any vegan recipes; I have only done one in my whole life.”
Tapia spent three days in the kitchen perfecting her recipes and then traveled to Lizzo’s Los Angeles home for the critique session. It was obvious from Lizzo’s reaction Tapia passed the test.
Tapia is still in disbelief that her dreams are coming true, especially because as an immigrant child she said she was given little hope.
“Be prepared to clean toilets for the rest of your life,” she said. “That is literally what they would tell us.”
Her story is an inspiration to the next generation to never give up.
“So, I want the youth to know that just because you are an immigrant, just because your parents don’t have money, just because you don’t have money or you got in trouble once or something, there is hope and I am an example,” said Tapia.
Tapia plans to work with organizations and schools in the future to teach culinary classes in the near future. She is also considering opening a food truck. Lizzo has already invited her back to cook a second time around.