My F&W
quick save (...)

Culinary Crusaders: La Cocina

The Mission: Champion food artisans.
Culinary Crusaders

Slideshow: Culinary Crusaders

San Francisco is full of incredible cooking talent—some established, some still struggling. La Cocina, which supports immigrant women who want to launch their own food businesses, brilliantly taps into that network. La Cocina’s 80 volunteers, ranging from chefs to CPAs, help the women in the program do everything from developing recipes to bookkeeping.

“Our role is to connect people to resources,” says director of operations Caleb Zigas. La Cocina also gives the women access to inexpensive kitchen space for one to five years, until they are ready to operate on their own.

There have been many inspiring successes. Cristina Besher of Kika’s Treats, who makes unbelievable Brazilian-inflected shortbreads, is about to graduate from the program and has already financed part of a factory for producing her sweets. And Claire Keane, the Irish creator of heavenly chocolate-toffee bars called Clairesquares, has done so well that she’s looking for an outside company to help with packaging.

Their products are available on the La Cocina website, as are terrific gift boxes filled with a mix of La Cocina foods.

Published November 2009
You Might Also Like


Add A Comment

    Add a Comment

    See our terms
    You must be logged in to comment. or
    The Dish
    Receive delicious recipes and smart wine advice 4x per week in this e-newsletter.
    The Wine List Weekly pairing plus best bottles to buy.
    F&W Daily One sensational dish served fresh every day.
    American Express Publishing ("AEP") may use your email address to send you account updates and offers that may interest you. To learn more about the ways we may use your email address and about your privacy choices, read the AEP Privacy Statement.
    How we use your email address
    Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

    Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.