Author: Von Diaz

Three Generations, One Cookbook, and Memories of Puerto Rico

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Cocina Criolla / Food / Immigrants / Latinos / Puerto Rico / Videos / Women

Originally published on August 25, 2014 as part of Feet in 2 Worlds Coming to the Table issue. My grandmother, known fondly as “Tata,” inspired me to start cooking. It was because of her that I started the Cocina Criolla project—where I’m cooking my way through the classic Puerto Rican cookbook by the same name. When I began the project, I was immediately transported back to Puerto Rico, standing in my grandmother’s kitchen while she […]

‘Gordita’ Supper Club at Lucky Luna on November 17

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Cocina Criolla / Food / Puerto Rico

Join me on November 17 at Lucky Luna for a special supper club featuring recipes adapted from ‘Cocina Criolla‘! Click here to buy tickets. Working with chefs and owners from Lucky Luna, a Mexican and Taiwanese restaurant in Greenpointe, Brooklyn, we’ve designed a night centered around bilí — a rum from the island of Vieques infused with vanilla bean, bay leaf, peppercorns and cinnamon. We’re keeping it intimate at 20 guests, and each ticket includes […]

Cocina Criolla on NPR’s The Splendid Table: ‘Cooking from a classic Puerto Rican cookbook, with mother and grandmother’

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Cocina Criolla / Food / Puerto Rico / Women

Originally published on The Splendid Table on September 20, 2014. When Von Diaz ended up with her grandmother’s 1964 copy of the Puerto Rican classic Cocina Criolla, she decided to explore the recipes. What started as an homage to her grandmother became “a project that was so much about culture and identity and understanding the history of an island’s cuisine that is fiercely underexplored,” Diaz says. She is working on a memoir and cookbook based […]

Bronx Baker Turns Dominican Cakes Into A Sweet American Dream

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Food / Immigrants / Women

Originally published on August 26, 2014 on NPR’s The Salt. For many immigrants arriving in the U.S., opening a family food business can be a pathway to economic stability. While many fail, one Dominican woman in the Bronx has managed to get her family off food stamps, send her kids to college and share her heritage with new friends and neighbors. And it all started with cake. Not just any cake — but bizcocho Dominicano, […]

Cocina Criolla on Last Chance Foods: A Compromise for Cilantro Haters?

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Cocina Criolla / Food / Radio / WNYC

Originally published on June 27, 2014 on WNYC. Cilantro could very well be the world’s most polarizing herb. Those who vehemently hate it may have the aversion coded in their genes, while others happily add it to everything from salsas to soups. But maybe there’s a middle ground to be found in the cilantro wars. Perhaps cilantro’s cousin culantro is the herb diplomat to please both parties. Culantro, with its long, narrow, slightly serrated leaves, […]

DREAMers No Longer of One Mind on Immigration Reform

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Feet in Two Worlds / Immigrants / Immigration Reform / Latinos / Media / Politics / Radio / WNYC

Originally published on June 27, 2014 on WNYC. June is an exciting month for graduating high school seniors. But for the thousands of young immigrants who lack legal status, graduation day can be a moment of great uncertainty. Undocumented youth have been on the front lines of the struggle for immigrant rights. They call themselves DREAMers to evoke both the proposed federal DREAM Act and a hope that they, too, can achieve the American Dream. […]

Podcast: DREAMers No More—What is Happening to Young, Undocumented Immigrant Activists?

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Feet in Two Worlds / Immigrants / Immigration News / Immigration Reform / Latinos

Listen to the podcast. Originally published on Feet in 2 Worlds on May 7, 2014. The DREAMer movement is in flux. Once monolithic, political activism by young, undocumented immigrants has become fragmented, with some activists abandoning the fight for comprehensive immigration reform, and others focused on local efforts to support undocumented immigrants. Many have stopped calling themselves DREAMers. In New York, where an estimated 90,000 youth would be eligible for relief under the DREAM Act, some young activists […]

‘Lucky’ Gives a Rare Glimpse Into the Life of a Homeless Mom

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Art and Culture / Gender and Sexuality / Latinos / LGBT / Women

Originally published on Colorlines on December 2, 2013. Representations of queer women of color in film are still hard to come by, particularly one as intimate and jarring as “Lucky.” In this first-ever documentary from journalist Laura Checkoway, you meet Lucky Torres–a fierce Puerto Rican lesbian mom from the South Bronx. Life isn’t easy for Torres, who came up in the system, bouncing around foster homes until she ran away and wound up homeless. She […]

Retailers Turn Thanksgiving Into Black Thursday [Infographic]

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Economy

Originally published on Colorlines on November 27, 2013. Infographic by Erin Zipper.  There are more than 16 million retail workers in the U.S. according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and this year many big-name stores have asked them to work through the Thanksgiving holiday. It seems Black Friday has now become Black Thursday, and at least a dozen stores are opening their doors in the middle of turkey day. Those working on Thanksgiving are […]