We’re so proud to announce that the Leaders from the Kitchen cookbook officially launched on Thursday, August 21 in Chicago. The Jane Addams Hull-House museum transformed into a Belizean inspired space for dancing, dining and dialogue. With more than 80 people in attendance, book sales raised $1,500 for the book’s four beneficiary organizations.
Writer and food folklorist Emily Hilliard led a panel discussion with LFTK authors about how the women in the cookbook creatively subverted the traditional restrictions of domesticity to create community-supported economies out of women’s “traditional” labor, especially cooking. We were joined by Claudia Alcantara and Elvira, who represented Empresarias del Futuro, a Chicago-based program that helps local women entrepreneurs get their start. Elvira, who hails from Mexico, told audiences about starting a small-scale, gourmet Mexican eatery in Chicago. LFTK authors told the stories of women featured in the cookbook, like Dona Pinita from Managua and Debora from Bluefields.
After the discussion, guests headed to the porch to sample Belizean dishes from Garifuna Flava, a Chicago Belizean restaurant. We dined on chicken tamales, fish panades, sweet potato cake and papaya punch. Guests purchased cookbooks and beautiful jewelry from Managua’s NicaHOPE cooperative, also featured in the book. The evening closed with a electrifying performance by Garifuna drummers and an all-women’s dance troupe. By the last song, everyone was on the dance floor, trying to shake it the Garifuna way.
If you missed the party, see more pics here and keep checking back for future events!