A partnership between Aramark and Chef and dedicated humanitarian, Grace Ramirez, will bring ‘La Latina Cocina’, an authentic Latin experience to guests, debuting at seven higher education residential dining locations at the end of Women’s History Month and running until the end of the Spring semester.
Research by the foodserve and facilities management provider shows 67 per cent of Generation Z (or ‘zoomers’) prefer authentic, cultural cuisine and in response to that growing demand, Aramark’s culinary development team have enlisted Ramirez and chefs from the group’s higher education business to develop a comprehensive offering that will deliver an authentic Latin experience, while also providing a variety of options for guests.
“Guests and clients have heightened expectations for featuring authentic foods from their community and the surrounding area,” explains Jack Donovan, President and CEO of Aramark Higher Education. “Chef Ramirez understands that food is culture and loves sharing the nourishing traditions of Latin American cuisine—its vibrancy, incredible creativity and, above all, comfort.
Her unique mix of traditional flavors and adventurous spirit is what makes the La Latina Cocina concept unique. We are looking forward to delighting and engaging students nationwide with authentic Latin food.”
“La Latina is the name of my first cookbook, and the word Cocina means kitchen or to cook. The kitchen in Latin American food and culture is the hub, the heart of the house, where the party happens, where we share with freedom and creativity, and where people gather. It’s not only about the place, but it’s an action because La Latina Cocina means the Latin female that cooks, and it is about bringing all the flavors from Latin American culture into one concept,” adds Ramirez.
La Latina Cocina’s menu items draw heavy inspiration from Ramirez’s La Latina cookbook, while also being supported by Aramark’s existing recipe database. Students will have the option to order the items as dishes or as Build Your Own (BYO). Some items that will appear on the La Latina Cocina menu include:
- El Choripan Platter: Grilled chorizo with guasacaca, pickled cabbage and cilantro crema on a roll with chili-lime chips
- Mojo Pulled Pork Taco Platter: Braised mojo pork shoulder corn taco, served with frijoles negros, arroz rojo and platano maduro
- Chipotle Mushroom Tostada Platter: A cauli-tortilla with chipotle veggies and vegan cheddar, served with poblano salad and pickled cabbage
- Tres Leche: Layered vanilla sponge cake soaked in sweet three-milk blend with whipped cream and fresh fruit
- Dragon Fruit Agua Fresca: Fresh dragon fruit mixed with lime juice and agave
La Latina Cocina’s co-development process was a collaboration between Ramirez, Aramark’s corporate culinary development team, and chefs from its higher education business. The higher education chefs have each been recognized in Aramark’s Chef Spotlight series that brings the company’s diverse chefs to the forefront and showcases their stories, experiences, and culinary talent throughout the year, in partnership with Aramark’s employee resource groups (ERGs). As part of its Be Well. Do Well. sustainability plan, Aramark is working to reduce inequity, support and grow local communities, and protect the planet.
The company is developing concepts like La Latina Cocina to increase awareness, educate, and acknowledge the diverse backgrounds of culinary team members within Aramark, as well as to inspire and uplift guests, employees, and the communities Aramark serves.
About Chef Grace Ramirez
Grace Ramirez is a broadcaster and author as well as a celebrated chef who describes herself as a “humanitarian”. Renowned globally for bringing her Latin American heritage and charisma to audiences in Oceanía and the Americas, she combines the reach of her celebrity with a knowledge of the culinary complexity of Latin American tradition.
Ramirez is committed to shaping the future with authentic vibrancy and sustained care for nourishment, values inherited from a long lineage of powerful women.
Featured in CherryBombe’s 100 Women in Hospitality and as one of People En Español’s Most Powerful Latina Women of 2021, Ramirez speaks to a new generation. Leading by example through her work with World Central Kitchen, This is About Humanity, IsraAid, and Wellness in the Schools, her focus is on empowering people to take an active role in society and creates a global sense of connection beyond borders.
Born in Miami and raised in Venezuela, the New Yorker’s diverse Latin heritage was the inspiration for her cookbook, La Latina, featuring her interpretation of traditional recipes from Latin America. Visit ChefGraceRamirez.com for more information or follow Chef Ramirez on Instagram @chefgraceramirez.