Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Gutierrez celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with series of Spanish-language cooking videos


We are in the midst of National Hispanic Heritage Month, and Sandra Gutierrez is ready to celebrate. The author of The New Southern-Latino Table last week filmed a series of cooking videos in Spanish that soon will be seen throughout Latin America.

Sandra Gutierrez is directed by Virginia Willis in a series of
Spanish-language cooking videos. (@Minos Pappas 2012)
“I've made cooking videos before but these are the first produced specifically for Spanish-speaking cooks,” said the Cary-based Gutierrez, who is a culinary ambassador for Roland Foods. The spots were produced by cookbook writer Virginia Willis, whose early career included supervising the food segments for Martha Stewart’s television show.

“Videos are a great way to teach people how to cook practical and easy recipes,’ said Gutierrez, who developed new recipes for such Roland products as quinoa, couscous, hearts of palm and capers. “I always have the home cook in mind. Whether you’re here or in India or Latin America, everyone likes to find new and fun ways to produce good food.”

Gutierrez will offer tips on how to infuse Latin flavors into everyday dishes between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. at Saturday’s Celebración!, the annual festival held at the N.C. Museum of History in downtown Raleigh. The family-friendly event is free and open to the public.

In recognition of both Hispanic Heritage Month and the exhibit Al Norte al Norte: Latino Life in North Carolina by Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist José Galvez, Gutierrez will demonstrate two Latin American recipes that are easy to recreate at home.

“I’m doing one from Nicaragua called gallo pinto, which is a red beans and rice dish. The second is Venezuelan corncakes called arepas,” she said. “I chose them because people tend to think only of Mexican food when they hear the words Latin America. These both break the stereotypes because they’re not spicy but they have a lot of flavor.”

While her goal is to help people to appreciate the diversity of food cultures in Spanish-speaking counties, Gutierrez also wants them to recognize the similarities with Southern foodways.

“I love the discovery that Southerners and Latinos have so much in common,” she said. “There are celebrations like the museum event going on all over the South, and a great and growing interest in Latin American foods. It creates wonderful opportunities to share delicious foods along with the great stories about the common threads in our histories.”

Gutierrez will continue to educate home cooks about Latin American flavors in her second book, which will be released by UNC Press in 2013.

“I can’t give you the title yet but it’s a very exciting theme that includes the foods of many different cultures,” said Gutierrez, a native of Guatemala who has traveled extensively to research recipes. “It reflects both my personal experiences and those of the friendships I have with so many great cooks from all over Latin America.”


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