Monday, November 24, 2014
Born in Vietnam, David Tran named his company, Huy Fong Foods, after the boat by which he immigrated to America. Seeking to create a kind of Heinz ketchup for the Vietnamese-American community, he bottled and sold his own unique take on Thai sriracha sauce, blending fresh red jalepeños, garlic, sugar, salt, and vinegar. Without the help of any advertising, his product has since exploded in popularity far beyond its original audience. It is now a global product sold in major supermarkets, heralded by celebrity chefs, and trumpeted by zealous fans across the Internet.
For a while. Huy Fong Foods was embroiled in a controversy (and a lawsuit) in Southern California due to objections from some quarters over the smells generated by the manufacturing of the company's signature hot sauce.
Friday, November 7, 2014
Born in India,Maneet Chauhan is a chef and television personality. Previously the Executive Chef of several notable restaurants including Vermilion Chicago and Vermilion New York, she is featured as a judge on Chopped on the Food Network.
Chauhan began her culinary career at the WelcomGroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration, Manipal, India, where she graduated at the top of her class. She then attended the Culinary Institute of America in New York. As an apprentice chef, she worked in India with the Oberoi Group, Taj Group, Welcome Group and Sheraton Group.
In 2003, at the age of 27, she became the opening executive chef of Vermilion in Chicago, earning her 3-Stars from The Chicago Tribune. In 2007, she moved to New York City to open At Vermilion. Her style is described as "global fusion" with roots in Indian cuisine.
Friday, March 21, 2014
Law Professor Ernesto Hernandez-Lopez comments on a "hot" dispute in Southern California. Local politics in California has ignited fear for fans of Sriracha, an extremely popular hot sauce, created for pho, a Vietnamese soup, and now fancied for Asian, taco and fusion dishes, sushi and street food. Celebrities, home chefs, even workers from the mailroom to the top offices are fans. Sriracha lovers around the globe are closely monitoring the actions of a small Los Angeles suburb that recently went to court to stop its production. The small city of Irwindale, east of Los Angeles, argues that Huy Fong Foods, maker of Sriracha, a hot chili sauce, emits harmful odors from a new plant within the city boundaries. Click the link above to read more about the dispute.
Thursday, March 20, 2014
From the Bookshelves: Soft Soil, Black Grapes: The Birth of Italian Winemaking in California by Simone Cinotto
Soft Soil, Black Grapes: The Birth of Italian Winemaking in California by Simone Cinotto 277 pages March, 2014 ISBN: 9781479832361
Winner of the 2013 New York Book Show Award in Scholarly/Professional Book Design
From Ernest and Julio Gallo to Francis Ford Coppola, Italians have shaped the history of California wine. More than any other group, Italian immigrants and their families have made California viticulture one of America’s most distinctive and vibrant achievements, from boutique vineyards in the Sonoma hills to the massive industrial wineries of the Central Valley. But how did a small group of nineteenth-century immigrants plant the roots that flourished into a world-class industry? Was there something particularly “Italian” in their success? In this fresh, fascinating account of the ethnic origins of California wine, Simone Cinotto rewrites a century-old triumphalist story. He demonstrates that these Italian visionaries were not skilled winemakers transplanting an immemorial agricultural tradition, even if California did resemble the rolling Italian countryside of their native Piedmont. Instead, Cinotto argues that it was the wine-makers’ access to “social capital,” or the ethnic and familial ties that bound them to their rich wine-growing heritage, and not financial leverage or direct enological experience, that enabled them to develop such a successful and influential wine business. Focusing on some of the most important names in wine history—particularly Pietro Carlo Rossi, Secondo Guasti, and the Gallos—he chronicles a story driven by ambition and creativity but realized in a complicated tangle of immigrant entrepreneurship, class struggle, racial inequality, and a new world of consumer culture.
Skillfully blending regional, social, and immigration history, Soft Soil, Black Grapes takes us on an original journey into the cultural construction of ethnic economies and markets, the social dynamics of American race, and the fully transnational history of American wine.
Simone Cinotto teaches History at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Made in L.A. is an Emmy award-winning feature documentary that follows the remarkable story of three Latina immigrants working in Los Angeles garment sweatshops as they embark on a three-year odyssey to win basic labor protections from a trendy clothing retailer. In intimate verite style, Made in L.A. reveals the impact of the struggle on each woman’s life as they are gradually transformed by the experience. Compelling, humorous, deeply human, Made in L.A. is a story about immigration, the power of unity, and the courage it takes to find your voice.
WATCH NOW ON: Apple iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Google/YouTube, Microsoft X-Box, Sony Playstation, SundanceNow, Vudu and Vimeo On Demand. We are excited that the digital release will bring Made in L.A. to new and diverse audiences and that it will greatly increase access to the film!
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Jenni Rivera, the Mexican-American singer and reality television star known as “the Diva of Banda,” died early Sunday in a plane crash outside Monterrey, Mexico, after a performance there. She was 43.
Rivera began recording in 1992, and her recordings often have themes of social issues, infidelity, and relationships. Her tenth studio album, Jenni (2008), became her first number-one album in the Billboard Top Latin Albums chart in the United States. In 2010, she appeared in and produced the reality TV show Jenni Rivera Presents: Chiquis & Raq-C.
A U.S. citizen by birth, Rivera was born in Long Beach, California. Her parents were immigrants from Mexico. Fans have been mourning at Rivera's home in Encino.
Rivera was a champion of immigrants rights. On May 29, 2010, tens of thousands of protesters converged on Phoenix to denounce Arizona's immigration enforcement law known as S.B. 1070. While other well-known musicians stayed away, or just signed a petition, Rivera showed up and marched five miles in scorching heat. She went on to play a full concert and gave a speech for immigrant rights and justice for the community she came from and never left.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and Americans are thinking about delicious Turkey. Or is that tradition changing?
In the immigrant capital of Los Angeles, Thanksgiving does not always involve turkey and mashed potatoes. In LA, Thanksgiving dinner may include a kebab or mole. Turkey mole truly is the best.
"For those who eat turkey, there will be birds basted with butter, sure, just as there will be turkeys on tables throughout Southern California that have been stuffed with a delectable sticky rice mixture, Chinese style, rubbed with chile powder and served with chocolatey black mole Oaxacan style, or marinated in a garlic-sour orange Cuban-style mojo to make it, frankly, tastier."
Read on by clicking here and finding out what some other Angelenos are eating on Turkey Day.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
In the latest round arising from a blow-up last year over some Honduran youths charged with drug dealing that San Francisco did not report to federal immigration authorities, Jesse McKinley of the N.Y. Times (see also the S.F. Chronicle report) reports that the San Francisco board of supervisors voted Tuesday to overturn a city policy ordered by Mayor (and candidate for Governor) Gavin Newsom last summer, which requires the police to contact U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) when they arrest a juvenile on felony charges who they suspect is undocumented. Under the policy, an estimated 100 undocumented minors have been turned over to federal immigration authorities. Under the policy as changed by the S.F. board of supervisors, referrals would be required only after juveniles were convicted of crimes, not merely upon arrest. "Immigration advocates say that referrals upon arrest have resulted in the deportation of innocent youths, the breakup of families, and a fear among immigrants of contacting the police when they are the victims of crime."
ImmigrationProf blogger Bill Hing and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center worked diligently to ensure that the Board of Supervisors approved this new change in policy.
UPDATE: For a N.Y. Times blog posting on the new law, including comments from Professors Rose Villazor (Hofstra) and Pratheepan Gulasekaram (Santa Clara), click here. I think that Professor Gulasekaram has the better of the argument as it applies to the new SF policy, which does not involve enforcement of the immigration laws by local authorities (like the Hazelton ordinace, for example) but only whether to report a youth offender to the federal immigration authorities upon arrest or conviction.