Tucson and the Sonoran Desert offer a rich and celebrated history of foodways and food resilience. Our culinary achievements include food made with indigenous desert ingredients from the hottest months to foods from the colonial period to dishes brought here by immigrants and refugees adapting to local conditions and availability.
We invite you to join us for a three–part course presented in collaboration with Tucson Meet Yourself. This course is hosted by Chef Liane Hernandez and features three Tucson culture bearers from the annual Tucson Meet Yourself Culture Kitchen, Tanisha Tucker, Dr. Michael Engs, and Dr. Barbara Eiswerth, celebrating local, regional, and global foodways. Working alongside other cooks and food preparers in the kitchen is where Hernandez says she has learned the most about life, love, passion, and victory.
Each of the three cooks will offer a live food demonstration and conversation, previously recorded according to social safety protocols in the kitchen of Mission Garden. Course participants will interact via Zoom with Hernandez and her guests and will receive recipes electronically to help them replicate the foods prepared.
September 28: Cooking demonstration by Tanisha Tucker
Tanisha runs a generations-old saguaro fruit harvesting camp in Saguaro National Park, drawing from family wisdom to share desert harvesting and food preparation from the Tohono O'odham tradition.
October 5: Cooking demonstration by Dr. Michael Engs, Arizona Heritage Tours
Michael brings to the kitchen the lesser known contributions of African-descent people who first reached the Southwest in 1538 through events related to Spanish exploration, conquest, and settlement. Some came involuntarily as enslaved people, others as free adventurers and entrepreneurs. A second wave came by way of the western expansion of the United States military and left an imprint on the cuisine of the so-called Western “frontier.”
October 12: Cooking Demonstration by Dr. Barbara Eiswerth, Iskashitaa Refugee Network.
New Tucsonans who arrive in our City from all over the world help us refine the definition of a "food resource,” explaining "hunger foods," and adapting to hotter Sonoran summers. Through their unique and varied food preservation techniques, they work together to use unharvested fruit from backyards and rescued vegetables from the border transit industry.