What Mexican Chefs Cook at Home: La Comida de los Cocineros

“We are family here now.”

Before leaving Mexico for North Carolina, Oscar didn’t know how to flip a tortilla on the grill. Now, under the direction of a James Beard award-winning chef, he and fellow cooks Javier, Romeo and Ramiro run the line at the high-end Lantern Restaurant in Chapel Hill. The cocineros have adapted to life in a new country by leaning on each other in the kitchen—both at work and at home. Their big Sunday family meal reveals food traditions old and new.


This video was produced by visual journalist Andrea Patiño Contreras and journalist Victoria Bouloubasis, who met as graduate students at UNC-Chapel Hill. Their mutual interest in sharing immigrant narratives through personal and empowering ways makes them natural friends and collaborators. Their first collaboration was an Instagram video series on how the pain and hope in the case of Mexico’s missing students affects North Carolina’s immigrant communities. La Comida de los Cocineros is part of Victoria’s folklore master’s thesis work.

Fi2W is supported by the David and Katherine Moore Family Foundation, the Ralph E. Odgen Foundation, the Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation, an anonymous donor and readers like you.