Frances Battista, 32, is a woman who wears multiple (cowboy) hats. She works for a Fortune 500 company by day and also runs a growing social media platform called @plateofrances that focuses on cooking and entertaining at home. She is a native of Puerto Rico who now lives in Houston.
Thank you so much for speaking with us – could you start off by describing your mission on social media?
I’m a content creator, a recipe developer and a food and dining table stylist. I really love and enjoy sharing my recipes, southern lifestyle and seasonal table settings. My mission is to make cooking and entertaining at home an enjoyable experience for both the host and the guests.
Tell us how you got into your line of work?
Everything started in December of 2020. I have always enjoyed making food from scratch. Growing up, cooking with my mother and my “abuelita” (grandmother) was always a great pleasure. We made everything fresh from veggie omelets from our laying hens to “arroz con gandules with banana leaves” and “sofrito” from our harvest. Fresh cilantro, or “culantro”, onions, garlic, peppers and “ajíes” were a few of the items that we used to harvest and later sell at my “abuelita’s” stand near the Plaza of “Rincón.” By 9 years old, I was able to cook a full meal for a family of four while helping my mom. At the age of 30, I started journaling with the intent to truly find myself. After several months, I was able to recognize a passion that has always been there: Create videos and cook!
How did you get into the social media aspect?
Back in middle school I always enjoyed filming and taking pictures. I still remember my very first camera, a Polaroid Izone (90’s kids will understand) followed by a Sony Digital camera and a Canon DSLR. I could spend hours editing random short videos and photos without knowing that I was practicing for what my @plateofrances brand is today. Back then I was considered a “pro” in Windows Movie Maker Lol! I was always inclined toward the creative world. I studied communications with a major in public relations and advertising. Today, I work for a Fortune 500 company in conjunction with my side gig in social media. It’s a small project with constant progress and fascinating ideas to explore.
What do you love about Texas?
First things first, the food! Texas is one of the culinary capitals of the world. The cultural richness allows you to “travel” with food pretty much every day. Today we can do Italian, tomorrow Japanese, Tuesday South African, Wednesday Tex-Mex. I love the mix of people, the locals and the multi-ethnic groups. It’s fascinating!
It’s also amazing how my taste for music has changed. Now country music – it’s my jam!
We also enjoy the country architecture and vibes, the connection with nature and the balance it creates. I also like that there are fewer distractions in the country and more opportunities for reflection and creativity.
What would you want people considering moving to Texas to know about this state?
Texas provides great business opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines. It’s a multicultural environment and a sports arena. -Big fan of the Astros here!
We also have multiple big cities, offering their own unique style and opportunities.
Why did you stay in Texas as opposed to moving away?
We have really enjoyed our time in Texas and have created great memories. Texas really provides their citizens an opportunity to prosper while offering a good lifestyle.
What are your top 5 places to visit in Texas?
Houston; New Braunfels; San Antonio; Austin & The Hill Country; Dallas.
What are your top 6 restaurants in the Houston Texas area?
1. Pearl and Vine (Great seafood and fine dining)
2. Café Piquet & Rincon Criollo (when craving Puerto Rican/Cuban goodness!)
3. Taste of Texas / Vick & Anthony (Best Steakhouses in town!)
4. North Italia (Creative Italian food!)
5. Lupe Tortilla & El Tiempo (Amazing Tex-Mex!)
6. Delices de Maurice & Étoile (French delicacies!)
What are your favorite weekend getaways or adventures – and what is the perfect weekend?
I would say enjoying the Texas Hill Country with my husband and our fur baby, Waffles. I love a good hike and a visit to the vineyards while enjoying good cheese and a nice glass of wine.
Any other thing about Texas you would like to know more about?
Yes, I would love to learn how to make good brisket like the locals do.
Any weird things about Texas that you love or favorite Texas things or people?
The wildlife! From humongous mosquitoes and coyotes to rattlesnakes and deer. It sometimes feels like I’m living in the middle of the film “Jumanji.” Did you know Texas has more than 80 kinds of mosquitoes? Making it the No. 1 state with the most identified species?