Gabriela Álvarez is a culinary artist. She began cooking after studying Community Health at Brown University. There she was a Royce Fellow and was introduced to community supported agriculture. The kitchen became her way to tackle health disparities and food system inequalities while maintaining a focus on individual agency.
In 2012 Gabriela became the Health & Wellness Coordinator of El Puente’s Green Light District in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. During her time there she became a Global Justice Trainer and started a Culinary Apprentice Program for high school students. Gabriela’s cooking classes center food as resiliency and honor traditional food preparations.
Gabriela founded Liberation Cuisine in 2104 with the intention of nourishing movements of change with sustainable ingredients and just business practices. Liberation Cuisine caters for grassroots organizations, farms, healing spaces, artist collectives, funders, and community events. Liberation Cuisine is expected to open a food stall at Smorgasburg in 2020.
Gabriela became the Kitchen Manager at Soul Fire Farm in 2015, where she continues to cook for the Black and Latinx Immersion Program with ingredients directly from the farm. Since then she has also offered plant-based and culturally relevant meals at retreats for mediation and trainings.
Gabriela has come to love creating and co-creating food experiences. In 2016 she designed a menu for an all-day healing experience at The Caribbean Center African Diaspora Institute and was the featured chef for The Laundromat Project's Annual Public Art Potluck. In 2017 Gabriela prepared a multi-sensory pop-up dining experience at Once Upon A Tart, which highlighted an Afro-Puerto Rican menu, live music by BombaYo, and artwork by Walter Cruz. She was a participating chef of the Dream Cafe during The Allied Media Conference in 2018. And invited by Chef Tom Colicchio, Gabriela created Maria Desde Acá: a multi-disciplinary six-course meal that told the story of Hurricane Maria from the perspective as someone in the diaspora.
Gabriela’s menus are an exploration of her own identities and a reflection of the communities and collectives with whom she collaborates. That same year she was an Environmental Leader in Residence at Common Ground High School and an Artist Resident at The Marble House Project. Gabriela was also a Resident Artist at AgitArte; during which she led workshops at mutual aid centers throughout Puerto Rico and co-created a zine about kitchen emergency preparedness called ‘Soberanía en la Cocina’.
Awards & Features
In 2015 Gabriela was awarded the Adelfa Vera Award by The Committee to Honor Puerto Rican Women (2015). In 2018 she was the Healthyish Superpowered Honoree for NY. Gabriela has been featured in Bon Appetit, Mitú, Matador Network, Women Entrepreneurs NYC, and HIPLatina. She has been interviewed on Food Without Borders, a Heritage Network Radio program, The Museum of Food and Drink, The Table Underground, RevFit Radio, and iEat Green. Gabriela had her television debut on WMHT in 2019.