Experimental Quesadilla Lab

2013-present

Pop-up kitchen and discussion space

Various sites around California

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The Experimental Quesadilla Lab, a popup kitchen and recipe exchange, centers the quesadilla to create discussion about colonialism, food injustice, health, Chicanx/Latinx and California identity by using cheeses, tortillas and other foods available in the neighborhood of the site. Participants use a lab slip and quesadilla elements to experiment with their own boundaries of culture and share with others.

 

At the Tulare County Food Bank, we worked with working-class low income folks to make quesadillas around a color and theme (What does California taste like?).  At the Firebaugh Community Center, a chef specializing in jackfruit demonstrated healthy food options and farmworkers told stories about their Americanized grandchildren with the event conducted mostly in Spanish.  In Boyle Heights, elementary school kids tried new foods they hadn’t been previously introduced to due to accessibility and taste preferences. Accessibility, self-determination, and food as healing are bound into each event.

 

Guest chefs have included Ricardo Diaz, founder of Cook’s Tortas and Guisados; Sarah Ramirez, former director of Tulare County Food Bank; and Leah Cruz, a nutrition, health and wellness coach. In 2016-2017, the lab was funded by a grant from Central Valley Community Foundation and sponsored by Fresno Arts Council. It also appeared at the Firebaugh Farmers Market, the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego and Galería de la Raza in San Francisco.

Previous Sites

2018   Comida es Medicina, Galería de la Raza, San Francisco, CA

TAG Workshop, Museum of Contemporary Modern Art San Diego, San Diego, CA

Thickets, Art Space Gallery, Fresno City College

2017   Food Day Tulare County, Exeter, CA

Pico Block Party: Culture Mapping 90404, Santa Monica, CA

Wildwood Multicultural Symposium, Wildwood School, Santa Monica, CA

San Joaquin Farmers Market, San Joaquin, CA

Firebaugh Community Center, Firebaugh, CA

2016   Food Matters, Avenue 50 Studio, Los Angeles, CA

California Arts Council Public Input Meeting, Fresno, CA

2015   Selecto Planta Baja, Los Angeles, CA

2013   Experimental Quesadilla Night, For Your Art, Los Angeles, CA

Spanspek Music and Arts Festival, Orosi, CA

Guest Chefs

Angel Aguirre, Home Cook

Leah Cruz, owner, Love 'N Light Wellness

Delphina Jones, Home Cook

Sol Orozco, owner, Raizana Tea Company

Sara Ramirez, former Director, Tulare County Food Bank