A Living History: El Paso Food Voices, Connecting Cultures
El Paso Food Voices is a collection of food stories gathered from home cooks, professional chefs, restaurant owners, community educators, and others from across El Paso, Texas. These stories bring to life the area’s mosaic flavors of its culinary landscape. People’s stories are filled with history, culture, and politics that challenge us to re-think our relationships with food. In Yolanda Leyva’s story, for example, she values foods, recipes, and cooking tools that reconnect her to an indigenous ancestral past. Roman Wilcox believes food is about responsibility to people and the environment. Antonio Lopez sees food as a gift of time. Machelle Wood looks at food as something that humanizes the past and roots us back to our home. The stories gathered in EPFV invite viewers to consider what living histories are served on their plates and how our culinary actions of today influence the kinds of living histories future generations will experience.
The foods that define a city’s culinary landscape speak to its histories, cultures, ecological environments, politics and economics. Recipes are always more than “how to” instructions for preparing dishes and drinks. Recipes are stories. They reveal how and why we remember certain ingredients, techniques, and ways of serving. Recipes archive the flavors and textures of our lived experiences, of the places we have lived, of histories we share with family, friends and strangers.
El Paso Food Voices speaks to cross-cultural connections that define a city’s culinary identity that is made up of a diverse population, a past with roots spreading in multiple directions, and a dynamic and ever-changing present.