Kitchen Think: Throwing Your Peeps Under the Bus


Very, very disappointed that the Hispanic Federation says it is going to fight New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s drive to ban super-sized sugary drinks.

The Hispanic Federation and NAACP have joined the American Beverage Association’s lawsuit against Bloomberg’s proposal to limit sodas to 16 ounces in the city, which would go into effect March 12.

The reason? According to the lawsuit, “minority-owned delis and corner stores will end up at a disadvantage compared to grocery chains.”

The non-profit Federation has decided to ignore the life-threatening health interests of millions of Latinos, whom they allegedly represent, in order not to upset their own corporate backers… namely, Coca Cola.

How can the Federation ignore the fact that our country is facing one of its biggest health crises EVER! Obesity rates are higher than average for Hispanics, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Forget about fighting for what is right for their people… it appears the Federation has been co-opted just to keep the money rolling in.

If you visit the Hispanic Federation’s website (or scroll to the bottom of this post), you’ll learn that at the group’s Gala in April, they’ll be presenting their “Corporate Leadership Award” to Coca Cola. (What a coincidence!)

When José Calderón took over the the Hispanic Federation leadership last year, he said he wanted the organization to continue being a “local and national leader on policy issues affecting our community.”


And who did Calderon take over from as President of the Hispanic Federation? Lillian Rodríguez López. Wanna guess what she’s doing now? That’s right: Coca Cola, as the Director of Latin Affairs.



Kitchen Think: Chicago Food Film Festival


There’s a plethora of film festivals out there… Sundance, Telluride, Cannes, Toronto. But none of them are as delicious as the Chicago Food Film Festival.

 Never heard of it? That’s a shame…it’s a one-of-a-kind event (well, sort of, they also hold one in New York City).

The fest celebrates everything about food: the people who grow it, make it, play and create enchantment with it. The fest is based around a simple premise… you watch movies and you eat (hmm…sounds like home.)

But the best part is that you get to sample the foods featured in the short films (often eating during the movie itself!)

We were served a slice of the delicious bread made by Maurizio Negrini, a third-generation Italian baker now living in Boulder, Colorado, while we watched the beautifully poignant film “Artisan Baker”.

We sipped wine from the Naramata Bench winery while watching “10,000 Cases,” a film that squeezes the entire harvest of the British Columbia vineyard into just two minutes.

During the film “Über,” we munched on delicious sandwiches from Florian Phahler’s Hannah’s Bretzel… who built his Chicago restaurant with a simple philosophy: start with great bread and develop a business plan with a conscience.

You get the picture… three days of glorious eating and viewing.

Oh, and the Audience Choice winner? “Sugar Shack,” which explores the business, culture, heritage and food of a Canadian maple farm at the peak of maple season. Sure it’s a tourist trap… but just take a look at the breakfast they serve and you’re going to want to book a trip soon.

And at the end of opening night? Why a food fest, of course (OK, more of a reception) featuring even more delicious eats! All of it Oscar-worthy!

I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: