JESSIKA LAZALA

 

“Growing up in Springfield MA in my grandmother's house, I've always been in the kitchen. Learning how to bake was my excuse for staying up late bothering my grandma and writing down her recipes. My mother's family moved to Springfield from Colon, Panama in the early 70s. Growing up in the situation I did really made me appreciate quality time with my family. Now, even after losing my mother and grandmother, I use their cooking recipes and tips to relive our memories. My culture is really special to me and since I've never visited Panama, my experiences with my mother's family bring me closer to the motherland.”

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What will you be presenting about? How food brings women in families together; the importance of knowing how to cook as a woman of color

Best piece of advice you ever got about cooking: Always taste the meat you season, don't show up to anyone's home empty handed

If you could only eat one meal forever, it would be: Rice and habichuelas with baked chicken

Favorite food: Kale stew with smoked neckbones

Recommended reading: The House on Mango Street

Best meals: Korean Pancake, Shrimp and Broccoli alfredo, Baked ziti or baked mac & cheese

Food you'd like to try: Pho