4) Northwestern U: What inspired Chef Roberto Pérez to revitalize Chicago’s Puerto Rican food scene


Puerto Rican chef Roberto Pérez is the founder of Urban Pilón, a culinary business that offers catering, private dinners, and cooking classes. The main goals of his classes are to teach people how to make Puerto Rican food with fresher, more natural ingredients while also expanding their ideas about what Puerto Rican food can be. If you're in Chicago, check them out here.

Pérez sees the classes as a tool for upending predominating stereotypes of Puerto Rican food. He says his classes actively work to “break that stigma about our food being simple or being unhealthy or being the same 10 f**king dishes over and over again. The educational part is so important. Pérez believes the lack of cooking classes that teach people how to make Puerto Rican food without relying on the same old recipes that call for processed, packaged ingredients as a serious void. A void he is trying to fill.


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