Reina Gascon-Lopez

Puerto Rican-born Reina Gascon-Lopez is a chef and recipe developer based in Charleston, South Carolina. She founded the food blog The Sofrito Project which showcases recipes that explore the connection between traditional Puerto Rican cuisine and Southern cooking. Her recipes and writing have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Food52, Thrillist, The Kitchn, Yummly, and others.


Growing up in Charleston, where her father was stationed in the Navy, Reina Gascon-Lopez and her family learned to cook traditional Puerto Rican dishes using locally available ingredients when typical staples like yuca and plantains weren’t accessible. Her interest in researching the connections between Afro-Caribbean, Latin, and Southern cuisines and culture inspired her to attend culinary school and start her food blog, aptly named after the foundational herbaceous seasoning blend common across the diaspora of the Caribbean and Latin America. Since its inception in 2017, The Sofrito Project has grown to include digital cookbooks, signature spice blends, consulting, and private chef services. Reina is an active and vocal proponent for racial and gender equity in the food industry, specifically for Latinx and women chefs in the media, and has been highly critical of what can be considered cultural appropriation by white chefs like Gordon Ramsay. In addition to Food & Wine, Reina’s work has been featured in Self Magazine, Vice, The Post and Courier, and The Washington Post.


Reina holds a bachelor of arts in communications and media studies. She received her formal culinary training from the Culinary Institute of Charleston. 

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