I didn't always know that I wanted to be a culinarian. Growing up my parents were part of a food cooperative, we were plant-based and used herbal remedies. It wasn't until my early twenties that I decided this would be my work.
I cook and am a soon-to-be herbalist. I founded Liberation Cuisine in 2014 with the intention of nourishing movements of change with sustainable ingredients and just business practices. In 2015 I became the Kitchen Manager at Soul Fire Farm, where I cooked for the Black and Latinx Immersion Program. Since my time at El Puente beginning in 2012, I've been leading cooking classes that center traditional recipes and food as medicine.
I began cooking after studying community health and ethnic studies at Brown University. Here I was a Royce Fellow and introduced to food justice. I am a graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute for Culinary and Healing Arts. I'm currently a RWJF Culture of Health Fellow and a Sacred Vibes Apothecary Apprentice.
My own food journey has been a process of finding and loving myself. I hope you too will be inspired to live your fullest life and use food to fuel you.
Maria Desde Acá
A six-course dinner recounting Hurricane Maria from the perspective of someone in the diaspora. Each dish was preceded by a media clip taking diners through the moments before, during, and after the storm. The experience was meant to be a cathartic one and offer healing from the trauma that occurs when ones homeland is impacted by climate disaster and you are far away from those you love. "Maria Desde Acá" was part of a series hosted by Chef Tom Colicchio highlighting four chefs with strong culinary voices who do not have brick-and-mortar restaurant spaces.
For the culmination of an artist residency at The Marble House Project, I explored family documents and interviewed relatives to better know my own genealogy. At the same time I studied the lineage of popular Puerto Rican recipes. I developed A Puerto Rican menu using ingredients from the local farm and an audio recording of my own family roots. Dinner guests convened in a barn house, which served as a stage for the 'performance'. The recording, stage lights, and choreographed serving of each dish created an immersive dinner experience.
Living In A Diaspora
A pop-up exploring what it means to survive and to thrive in a diaspora. With the understanding that food is a basic human need and also a way of preserving culture in the face of forced migration, I created an African-centered experience of Puerto Rican food. Dinner was infused with live Bomba music, and affirmative visual art covered the walls of the dining room. "Living In A Diaspora" was hosted by Once Upon A Tart for three days.
Soberanía En La Cocina
A zine I co-created with Tina Orlandini while in residency at AgitArte's Casa Taller Caagrejera. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, a network of Centros de Apoyo Mutuo were active throughout Puerto Rico. After exchanging with organizers throughout the archipelago, we created a hand-illustrated, pocket-sized zine that shares tips and guides for planning and cooking with your community in disaster situations. It includes meal planning, setting up and running a collective kitchen, a step-by-step guide for growing sprouts in your kitchen, and emergency preparedness (food and water, energy, money, and communication).
Bon Apétit's Healthyish Superpowered
An award granted by Bon Appétit's Healthysih Magazine to an early-to-mid career woman who centers her culinary work around wellness and equity. In 2018 I was named the honoree for New York.