Jose Pepper was born the seventh son of his father, a Tijuana physician (Dr. Pepper), and his mother, the finest and most revered cook south of the Rio Grande. Jose grew up in his mother's kitchen witnessing the sights and smells of Mexican specialty cooking. As the seventh son of a seventh son, unusual circumstances had often influenced Jose's life.
In the spring of 1986, tragedy struck Jose's parents, Dr. and Mrs. Pepper, and they disappeared in a mysterious accident. The Pepper family fortune, such as it was, was divided equally between the seven surviving Pepper brothers. According to the terms of the will, Jose inherited 52,000 pesos ($26.00 US) and a special bequest: "To my dearest seventh son, Jose, I bequeath my recipes accumulated during generations of fine Mexican cooking.”
With the clothes on his back, $26 US, his 1963 Chevy Impala and his mother's recipes packed inside an old leather suitcase, Jose headed north to visit Niagara Falls. Sadly, before reaching his destination, misfortune struck again.
While passing through Kansas on I-435, Jose saw his first tornado and collided with several orange traffic barrels, crashing his Chevy. A Spanish-speaking highway patrolman found Jose's treasured recipes written in Spanish scattered beside the road and returned them to Jose, weathered and dusty.
His legacy restored by fate, Jose stayed in Overland Park, married and proudly opened "Jose Pepper's,” a border grill and cantina. And on the seventh day, Jose creat
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