Illyanna Maisonet: Diasporican
Food is more than just sustenance or nourishment. Food brings us together and connects us to family, history, migration and beyond. Perhaps no one understands this better than food columnist Illyanna Maisonet, who has spent years documenting her family’s Puerto Rican recipes and preserving the island’s disappearing foodways through rigorous research.
Maisonet was the first Puerto Rican food columnist in the continental United States. Her San Francisco Chronicle column, “Cocina Boricua,” was dedicated to safeguarding traditional Puerto Rican recipes and exploring food throughout the Puerto Rican diaspora.
Maisonet’s cookbook, Diasporican, provides a visual record of Puerto Rican food, ingredients and techniques. She shares deeply personal recipes—some even passed down from her grandmother and mother—that trace the island’s flavor traditions to the Taino, Spanish, African, and even United States’ cultures that created it. Shaped by geography, immigration and colonization, these dishes reflect the ingenuity and diversity of their people.
Join as we celebrate and learn more about the essence of Puerto Rican culture and cuisine.
Author, Diasporican: A Puerto Rican Cookbook; Twitter @eatgordaeat
Chair, Nutrition, Food, and Wellness Member-led Forum, The Commonwealth Club of California—Moderator