It’s no secret that some of the Bay Area’s most beloved chefs are graduates of La Cocina, the San Francisco incubator that helps low-income women, immigrants, and people of color start their own food businesses. Last week, La Cocina released its first cookbook entitled We Are La Cocina, which features over 75 recipes and stories from over 40 of its successful entrepreneurs — including many in the East Bay.
If you’ve ever wondered how to make the kuy teav Phnom Penh from Nite Yun’s restaurant Nyum Bai or the mac and cheese and rosemary fried chicken from Fernay McPherson’s restaurant Minnie Bell’s Soul Movement, look no further. Other East Bay food entrepreneurs featured in the cookbook include Reem Assil of Reem’s with her recipes for muhammara, fattoush, and sfeeha; Dionne Knox of Zella’s Soulful Kitchen with a recipe for cream biscuits and strawberry-hibiscus jam; Dilsa Lugo of Los Cilantros with recipes for sopes and esquites; Tina Stevens of A Girl Named Pinky with her carrot cake recipe; and Hang Truong of Noodle Girl with recipes for pho bo and ca kho to (braised fish).
Those who miss the mixiotes from Alma Rodrigues of Mixiote (back in its days as a pop-up at UC Berkeley and at Plum Bar) will also find her recipe here, and those who can’t wait for Lamees Dahbour’s new kiosk at the Emeryville Public Market will encounter her recipe for maqluba (an upside-down rice dish that she prepares with vegetables). Readers will also come across stories from Tiffany Esquivel and Sylvee Chitica of Hella Vegan Eats and Antoinette Sanchez of Endless Summer Sweets.
The cookbook is authored by Caleb Zigas, executive director of La Cocina, and Leticia Landa, La Cocina’s deputy director. The book also features over 200 photos by award-winning photographer Eric Wolfinger and a foreword by Isabel Allende.
We Are La Cocina is published by San Francisco publisher Chronicle Books and retails for $29.95. All of the authors’ proceeds from sales of the book go to support La Cocina. The national book tour is making three more San Francisco stops this summer: June 17 at Commonwealth Club, June 26 at the CUESA Ferry Building, and July 18 at 18 Reasons. To learn more, visit LaCocinaSF.org or ChronicleBooks.com.