[LA Weekly] Q & A With USC Professor Sarah Portnoy: On Latino Food in L.A
FOOD / LA Weekly / Latin American food / Mexican food

[LA Weekly] Q & A With USC Professor Sarah Portnoy: On Latino Food in L.A

We all eat for pleasure. Some of us also eat in pursuit of academic knowledge. “Food studies” is a burgeoning field where scholars consider food a potent tool for illuminating a vast range of topics and issues. Among L.A. colleges and universities, you’ll find classes on “Animal Ethics,” “Restaurant Culture,” “Food Politics,” and “Science and Food,” among others. One emphasizes L.A.’s Latino community — professor Sarah Portnoy’s “The Culture of Food in Hispanic Los Angeles” at the University of Southern California. As a class in the Spanish department, students spend ample time developing language skills. (Such as writing blogs in Spanish.) But the culinary twist means they also examine issues related to history, immigration, and cultural values. We spoke with Portnoy, a Houston native, over margaritas at Yxta Cocina Mexicana to hear her take on L.A.’s diverse and fascinating Latino food scene. Continue reading

[USC] Miss Chiquita Banana: Here to Stay, for Better or Worse
COUNTRIES & CULTURES / FOOD / Immigration Issues / Latin American food / LATIN AMERICAN/LATINO / USC Annenberg School Projects

[USC] Miss Chiquita Banana: Here to Stay, for Better or Worse

Imagine a packed movie theater in 1950. An audience awaits Hollywood’s latest picture — but first, the commercials. An animated steamboat appears on the screen, chugging along to cheerful music. Then a beautiful woman alights. Or rather, a banana. She is “Miss Chiquita” representing prominent fruit company Chiquita Banana. By 1950, the filmgoers know her … Continue reading

*BLOG / FOOD / Latin American food / Mexican food

The Craft of Cooking + Perseverance

Nowadays, many chefs are often associated with razzle-dazzle and celebrity – as any Food Network fan can attest.  But what about the steady hard-workers who are just as dedicated to the craft of cooking, yet never reach fame?  Who continue making meals and opening restaurants even in the toughest of circumstances?   And whose dishes are just … Continue reading

*BLOG / Boyle Heights / Mexican

[Blog] Lucha Libre in Boyle Heights

“Aaaiiiiiiiiiiii!” The bulk of a man shrieked as he thudded to the ground in an attack on his opponent. The two flailed about on the floor, each trying to pin down the other. The spectators roared with cheers and put downs alike. “Go get ’em!” cried some. “Pinche pendejo!” belted others. The noise was accented by a sound not always heard at sports events: raucous laughter.

Lucha libre is supposed to be silly. Continue reading

*BLOG / Latin American / Mexican / MUSIC

Café Tacvba Celebrates 20th Anniversary With “Seguir Siendo”

I squinted at the small TV, trying to figure out what to make of the enthusiastic, eccentric performers on the screen.   The small guy with the nasaly voice wearing an image of large breasts on his t-shirt.   The slender pianist who paused his playing to raise his arms and do a dance from the torso … Continue reading

*BLOG / Latin American / Mexican / MUSIC

Concert Review: True Amor for Julieta Venegas

“The fantasy is better,” Julieta Venegas belted to open her Club Nokia show on May 19th. This may be true of the song’s glorification of “amores platonicos,” but not a concert by Venegas. The Mexican pop songstress brought such joy, spirit and energy to her live performance that it exceeded any fantasy one could have had of seeing her in person… Continue reading

Latin American / Mexican / Mexican / MUSIC

Los Tigres del Norte bring their roar to Disney Concert Hall

Also see my preview article, “Los Tigres del Norte to make history at Walt Disney Concert Hall,” published in the Los Angeles Times. Los Tigres del Norte plays at the same venues that host rodeos, professional bull riders and country fairs.  So its show last Friday night at Walt Disney Concert Hall offered the band an opportunity … Continue reading

Argentinean / Latin American / Occidental Weekly

[Oxy Weekly] Bajofondo Rocks The Roxy

The eclectic musician behind the soundtracks to 21 Grams and plays a sold out show on Sunset It is Saturday evening on the Sunset Strip and the Roxy’s lights illuminate the street trash whipped up by the Santa Ana winds. The marquis announces the date: “October 11,” and performer, “Santaolalla and the Bajofondo Tango Club.” Outside, a … Continue reading