Kitchen Kwento is where I write, document, and share stories on the relationships between food, stories (kwentos), and the land.
I'm part of the first generation born outside my ancestor's homeland - a Filipina/American born in the deserts of eastern Washington and raised in California and the Big Island Hawai’i. All along the way, my family's diet reflected the cultural crossroads we lived in America. I grew up eating everything from Spam, bibimbap, poi, spaghetti, poke, and Pop Tarts, to the plastic wrapped foods of the microwave generation. Yet rarely did I eat - let alone grow or harvest - foods my ancestors would recognize.
That hunger to connect with traditional foods sparked something else: a bigger questioning of how and what we eat are connected to the earth, the people and the places we call home.This question has taken me on a journey to connect to soil and stories on both sides of the Pacific, and to deepen roots at the same time.
I first started this blog in 2010. At first, I thought I wanted a place to track recipes and yummy things. I thought, that's what a food blog is supposed to be, right? But it was not only the yum factor of food that drew me in, but the told and untold stories behind it - the spiritual, political, cultural, to the ecological - that kept drawing me again and again. So I gave up trying to write a "food blog" and wrote an alphabet. And that is where this blog continues today.
When I'm not writing, I am an educator, environmental justice advocate, and natural chef who loves moonlighting in kitchens and who dreams of a small farm and culinary learning center. I'm a recent alumni of the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems farm and garden program, and I love to keep my hands close to the soil.