Mercy Baron’s Bio

I’ve been called a Renaissance woman and I guess that’s true.

Born in NY, raised in LA. Don’t hold any of that against me. I have a NY state of mind and a penchant for organic everything. That’s the LA part of me I guess.

I had two NY beatnik turned LA hippie parents who definitely were a trip to be around. They were loved by everyone who met them. Joe and Rue. One half sister, Judi. They’ve all moved onto the next great BBQ in the afterlife.

My Dad drummed around the music scene in NY in the 40’s and 50’s. He hung with some of the great musicians, artists and comedians of that era. He met my Mom, stole her from her first husband, got her pregnant with me and then they married. At the tender age of one and a half, I was whisked off to Los Angeles. There we settled into Hollywood for a few years, and then they moved to the infamous Valley, the San Fernando Valley.

I started off a ballet, tap and jazz dancer who was to follow in my sister’s footsteps and dance professionally. I took lessons from some of the greats of the day, Juliet Prowse, Jon Zerby (father of actress, Kim Darby). I was on toe shoes at 6 years old. I had promise. But then, puberty kicked in and I got boobs. Way too much boobs for dancing. I wanted to play drums anyway, just like dear old Dad. He wasn’t happy about that. He thought a girl should play flute or guitar. I did both and hated it. He finally gave in and drums it was.

Mercy Drawing 2

Drawing by my bf, Stephen Marchesi

As my parents made their way onto the growing hippie scene in Hollywood, all their NY friends followed them out here. They hung with some of the beat generation. Lenny Bruce, James Coburn, Horace Silver…too many to remember. This made for a very interesting upbringing for sure. They were great parents. I grew up with lots of freedom of expression and encouragement of creativity.

I played percussion in many school orchestras, ensembles and then to make money, rock ‘n roll was the way to go. I played in bands that traveled around the U.S., I played in bands that gigged in clubs doing Top 40 music. I met a lot of fantastic musicians along the way. I was lucky enough to be in marching band in high school with the late, great drummer, Jeff Porcaro, of Toto. I learned a lot in a heavy musical environment from monster players like that. Hanging with him, I got to meet Leon Russell, Steely Dan, Neil Young and many others on the LA music scene.

Right out of high school I married, had a child at 24 and my husband and I continued to play music. I went back to college and earned my BA in Anthropology and became a working archaeologist. That’s right, I went from gigs to digs! The creative and scientific sides of my brain were both working overtime.

Divorced at 40, I was on my own and tried several other careers while working off and on as an archaeologist in the Southern California area. I became a successful plus size model and that afforded me the opportunity to travel around the world. That was a fun period in my life. Hell, all those times were great. I decided to try my hand at acting since I lived right in Hollyweird and had some success.

Mercy Film

Drawing by my bf, Stephen Marchesi

I moved from LA down to San Diego in 2008. I briefly lived on a remote Caribbean Island in the Bay Islands of Honduras and managed a commercial building for a San Diego Couple and then returned to SD to be near my son. He has recently given me two grandchildren and they live close by. I have also found an incredible soul mate and we live at the beach together.

I have written over 400 food reviews in the last few years.

My BBQ credentials include;

I became a Kansas City Certified BBQ Judge in 2012. I have since judged many KCBS sanctioned competitions locally and some traveled to. In addition to…….

  • Cali Comfort Spring Valley Tailgate and BBQ Fest 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
  • World Food Competition in Las Vegas 2014
  • Big Bite Bacon Fest at the San Diego County Fair 2014
  • Brett’s BBQ Sauce contest at the San Diego County Fair 2015
  • Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour Las Vegas 2015

Pics of me with some well known chefs and food luminaries in San Diego.

Troy Johnson. Food Critic for San Diego Magazine

Troy Johnson. Food Critic for San Diego Magazine

Tommy Gomes, Fishmonger Extraordinaire of Catalina Offshore Products

Tommy Gomes, Fishmonger Extraordinaire of Catalina Offshore Products

Chef Kat Humphus, formerly of Bo Beau. Now owner of Savory Made Simple and Kat's Kitchen Collective.

Chef Kat Humphus, formerly of Bo Beau. Now owner of Savory Made Simple and Kat’s Kitchen Collective.

Chef Javier Plascencia of Bracero in SD and owns several restaus in Baja

Chef Javier Plascencia of Bracero in SD and owns several restaus in Baja.

Chef Elias Gonzales of OB Warehouse.

Chef Elias Gonzales of OB Warehouse.

Chicken Charlie. Responsible for all the weird fried foods at the Del Mar Fair

Chicken Charlie. Responsible for all the weird fried foods at the Del Mar Fair