Grand Rapids Downtown Market hosting Culinary Conversation panel on October 5

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Grand Rapids Downtown Market will host a Spanish language panel discussion that focuses on the Latinx food community in West Michigan. The Culinary Conversations panel will be held on October 5, from 5 pm-7:30 pm at Rosebud/Lions & Rabbits (1264 Plainfield Avenue Northeast).

The panel will talk about challenges, struggles, successes, and advice of being a food entrepreneur in West Michigan. The panelists will be El Globo owner Oswaldo Córdova, Restaurante & Pupuseria El Salvador owner Dina E. Suarez, El Caribe owner and chef Gilma DeLaCruz, and El Granjero Mexican Grill & Grow’s VP of banquets Paola R. Mendivil. Start Garden Director Jorge Gonzalez wants to moderate the panel.

The event is also designed to be a peer-to-peer collaboration group for food industry professionals in West Michigan, including growers, producers, chefs, bartenders, restaurant owners, and entrepreneurs.

According to the National Restaurant Association, 4 in 10 restaurants are owned by minorities, with 14% Hispanic and Latino-owned.

“This Culinary Conversations event highlights the enormous role that Hispanic and Latino entrepreneurs are playing in our local food culture and food system,” said Gonzales. “Their work is building upon a rich and diverse cultural legacy, by influencing local agriculture and supply chain through their buying decisions, they’ve changed how we eat and how we all embrace and encourage cultural diversity in West Michigan.”

“One thing that’s unique about this event is that there will be no translations, subtitles or interpreters present,” said Downtown Market President and CEO Mimi Fritz. “It’s difficult for people to tell their true stories if they have to worry about how it’s translated, and the goal is to ensure that our panelists and guests can share their struggles, successes and ideas in their native language without that barrier.”

The Culinary Conversations panel will be held on October 5 at 5 pm Registration for the event can be done online.

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