From our love of tamales and tacos to family restaurateurs and growers, we’ll be sharing stories about the tastes that help bring us together at our "Food and Family" storytellers event.
The Tucson Storytellers Project came from the idea that oral storytelling and journalism have the same goals: serving and reflecting a community while fostering empathy. So we're blending the art of oral storytelling with the truthfulness and community-building that is at the heart of great journalism.
Here's a look at the tellers and the stories they will be sharing:
Andi Berlin: Andi is the food writer for This is Tucson and can tell you all the best raspados spots in town. A few years ago, she took what she thought would be a cheese tour through Peru but ended up as a journey of self-discovery.
Mateo Otero: Mateo is a chef and owner of Rollies Mexican Patio on 12th Avenue. His lifelong passion for cooking is intertwined with the story of his grandfather, who migrated from Sonora and worked as a chef in Tucson. Although he died young, he showed his grandson the wonders of working in the kitchen — when he wasn’t busy pretending to lock him in the walk-in freezer, anyway.
Karla Campillo-Soto: Karla is a school improvement officer who lives in Douglas. She re-lives three of the most terrifying days where her family wasn't sure if her dad was dead or alive. Throughout those days of uncertainty, her mom would cook the most elaborate meals for the whole family as part of her "we are OK" mantra.
Jonathan Revies: Jonathan is a line cook at Cafe a La C'Art who also does stand-up comedy in his free time. The star of his story is his mom's amazing banana pudding, and how that dish has played an instrumental role in helping guide his cooking and career (and gets him invited to a lot of barbecues.)
Renee Schafer Horton: Renee spends most her time helping journalism students at the University of Arizona navigate the murky world of internships. From first-dates to her grandson's birthday, she talks about how food is a love language that stands on its own.
Melani "Mele" Martinez: Melani is a lecturer at the University of Arizona who also is a Flamenco dancer. Melani tells a story of her father's long-standing restaurant El Rapido and the process of learning how to peruse her own desires while also paying tribute to the importance of family.
Tucson Storytellers: Food + Family
When: Tuesday, June 12, 6:30-8 p.m.
Cost: $5 students/$10 general admission. Get your tickets here.