SUSHISAMBA restaurant taquitos
Gourmet Intersections

"Asian-Latino Fusion" has been a popular restaurant industry concept for over two decades. But Asian and Latino food cultures have a much longer and richer history of intersection, stretching from the farm to the home table, from the mercado* to the food truck. Gourmet Intersections: Asian-Latino Food Crossings considers Asian-Latino foodways through a broad lens, tracing connections across a range of histories, geographies, and cultures.

The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and the Smithsonian Latino Center will be hosting a lively discussion about the changing shape of shared food traditions, touching on the restaurant industry, the space of the home, and the migration and evolution of sushi from Japan across the Americas.

Panelists:
Moderator:

The discussion is from 7-8pm with a book signing from 8-8:30pm. Books will be available for purchase. The Mitsitam Coffee Bar will be open until 7pm serving refreshments, beer, wine, and light snacks for purchase.

*Mercado is "market" in Spanish.

Cristeta Comerford
Cristeta Comerford

Born in Manila, Philippines, Cristeta "Cris" Comerford now works in the most famous house in the United States of America. Mrs. Comerford became the first woman to become the executive chef at the White House since the Kennedys appointed the position to a high- profile statement of personal style. She is also the first minority, a Filipino American to hold the position. Serving as an assistant chef during the Clinton Administration, her consummate passion and talents proved worthy. Mrs. Laura Bush appointed her in August, 2005.

She continues to serve the President and First Lady Michelle Obama. Her many responsibilities include designing and executing menus for state dinners, social events, holiday functions, receptions and official luncheons. The First Lady's Food Initiatives have encouraged her White House culinary team to adopt an elementary school in DC, the Harriet Tubman Elementary School as a part of the Let's Move! campaign. Her team of chefs have continually embraced healthy cooking and eating as a passion and lifestyle choice.

Chef Comerford attended the University of the Philippines to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Food Technology. Her 26 years of culinary experience include fine dining restaurants in Washington DC, Chicago, Austria, Napa Valley and France. As a member of the Club Chefs du Chef, an association of chefs of heads of states, she had continually pursued her growth in techniques, abilities and food trends.

Trevor Corson
Trevor Corson

Trevor Corson is one of the leading authorities on sushi outside Japan. After studying in Japan for three years he wrote the acclaimed book The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice (HarperCollins, 2007), which draws on Japanese-language sources to tell the surprising tale of sushi's mysterious origins, age-old techniques, and peculiar ingredients through the true story of a group of apprentice sushi chefs in Los Angeles. The Story of Sushi was named a Best Food Book of the Year by Zagat, the Best American Food Literature Book of the Year by the Gourmand Awards, and selected as an Editor's Choice by the New York Times Book Review.

Trevor has written about sushi for The New York Times, Gourmet, The Atlantic, Dining Out, Gastronomica, Conservation, and other publications. A frequent guest on NPR and television shows such as Iron Chef America, where he has appeared as a guest seafood judge, Trevor and his work have been featured on ABC News with Charles Gibson, CBS Sunday Morning, and Japan National Broadcasting. Trevor hosts historical sushi dinners at the Michelin-starred Jewel Bako restaurant in New York City and has lectured on sushi and sustainability at some of America's premier lecture venues, including the National Press Club, the National Geographic Society, the American Museum of Natural History, and numerous private associations and clubs. Trevor worked for two years as a full-time commercial fisherman and is also the author of the worldwide pop-science bestseller The Secret Life of Lobsters.

Pati Jinich
Pati Jinich

Pati Jinich is host of the Public Television series, Pati's Mexican Table aired nationwide and nominated for an Imagen Awards. Her 3rd Season is under production this spring-summer. She is a cookbook author, cooking teacher, food writer and official chef of the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington, DC. Pati was born and raised in Mexico City and comes from a family of accomplished cooks. She has resided in the Washington, DC area for the past 13 years, where she and her husband are raising their three boys.

Through the Mexican Table series, Pati continues to share her rich, entertaining and insightful perspective on Mexican cuisine in an intimate setting. With the launch of Pati's Mexican Table, she is able to share her knowledge with a far broader audience. She familiarizes viewers with Mexican ingredients and cooking techniques, but also with the many regional cultures, traditions and histories that, together, inform Mexico's diverse cuisine.

She launched her blog, patismexicantable.com, to share her work and food-related writing and stories. Her first cookbook, Pati's Mexican Table: The Secrets of Mexican Home Cooking was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in March 2013, recommended by The New York Times and already in the Gourmand's World's 250 cookbooks.

Anupy Singla
Anupy Singla

Anupy Singla is an award-winning journalist turned cookbook author. She gave up her career as a television reporter years ago after realizing that her grueling work schedule prevented her from raising her girls the way her mother had raised her and her younger brother—on delicious and authentic Indian food at the table virtually every night. She decided to take a break from reporting and replicate every Indian recipe she grew up with, blog about it, and see if her girls would learn to appreciate their Indian roots through food as she had growing up outside of Philadelphia. They did. And, what started as a human experiment on the Internet has now become the two leading Indian cookbooks in the country (The Indian Slow Cooker and Vegan Indian Cooking), a line of spices, soon a line of Indian simmering sauces, and a blog—all under the company name, Indian As Apple Pie.