Gabriela Álvarez-canoas plantain and collards and mushroom
Gabriela Álvarez is a chef and founder of Liberation Cuisine. She began cooking after studying public health in academia for several years. The kitchen became her way to tackle inequalities in the food system, while maintaining a focus on individual agency. Her own relationship with food has served as a declaration of self-worthiness in a world that diminishes brown bodies as well as a point of connection to her Puerto Rican ancestry. Her menus are an exploration of her own identities and a reflection of the communities and collectives with whom she collaborates. Chef Gabriela Álvarez cooks in spaces of self-determination, healing, community celebration, and cultural preservation. In 2014 she founded Liberation Cuisine with the intention of nourishing movements for social change with sustainable ingredients and practices. She has cooked for Soul Fire Farm’s Black and Latinx Farmer Immersion Programs as well as Harriet’s Apothecary Healing Villages, Bedstuy Pride, and Race Forward's Racial Justice Trainings. Gabriela is known to co-create food experiences with other artists, healers, activists and chefs. For example, she offered nourishment as part of an all-day healing experience at the opening of The Caribbean Center African Diaspora Institute in October 2016. Gabriela collaborated with two other women of color chefs to cook for the 2016 Holyoke Food Justice Conference. In 2017 she hosted a multi-sensory pop-up dining experience for three nights at Once Upon A Tart. Gabriela teaches cooking classes dedicated to food as resiliency and honoring traditional food preparations.