La Cocina de Loisaida

Since the age of 6, lifetime #Loisaida resident Maria Bido (read article on María’s Puerto Rican roots) acquired a taste for traditional Puerto Rican dishes from her grandmother. The authentic cuisine included a combination of the flavors of Sofrito and Adobo coupled with an extremely intricate variety of plates which makes for a perfect holiday meal.

Some of these recipes and the history they represent are becoming an ‘endangered cultural ethnic art’ as the traditions and customs are not being transferred to the younger generations. We have an unwavering commitment to preserve the beauty and culture of our heritage, including the culinary arts. That is why Essex Market and Loisaida, Inc. have partnered to bring you La Cocina de Loisaida. Now more than ever, we must take measures to preserve and celebrate the uniquely diverse culture that defines New York City and the Lower East Side. It is imperative we go above and beyond to represent, uphold, and preserve the beautiful diversity and cultures that define New York City.

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La Cocina de Loisaida presents simple dishes cooked by community members of the LES (Lower East Side) and abroad, that have a profound love for cooking at home. We invite non-professional home cooks to show off their best dishes and to present those home meals that have helped them raise a family or care for their loved ones.

During our pilot 2021-2022 season, we invited María Bido, a local caterer, who has raised her children with the recipes she will be presenting at the Essex Market. We hope that you enjoy this special #LoisaidaTV presentation.

The purpose of La Cocina de Loisaida is to celebrate the rich Puerto Rican and Caribbean culinary heritage of the Lower East Side while instilling the values behind it to our future generations.

About La Cocina de Loisaida at Essex Market

La Cocina de Loisaida, a series of monthly hands-on cooking classes where we celebrate the rich cultural traditions of Puerto Rican cuisine. Longtime Lower East Side resident and local caterer Maria Bido shares the recipes and techniques passed down by her abuela, all based in authentic Puerto Rican flavors and ingredients from Essex Market.

Each month we’ll explore a new batch of family favorites, including Maria’s flawless arroz con pollo, street food from a classic cuchifritos, and — as the holidays near — festive favorites like pasteles and tres leches.

This series is presented in partnership with Essex Market with the collective mission to preserve and pass down culinary heritage from the Lower East Side community. We invite all ages and abilities to join us for these unique, fun and celebratory cooking classes hosted at Essex Market Kitchen.

Loisaida Inc. Programs are supported in part, by public funds from the the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera, NYS Assembly member Harvey Epstein, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Hispanic Federation, Promesa Foundation, Stonewall Foundation, Ford Foundation, MOSAIC Foundation of the New York Community Trust and the Howard Gilman Foundation.