Growing up on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, some of my earliest memories are of standing in my mother’s kitchen, fascinated by the sight of her preparing sumptuous smelling dishes from her native Nicaragua. Before long I was cooking by her side and helping plan the dinner parties she threw for her New York friends, who were enthralled by the exotic flavors, exuberant colors and Central American sensibility of her Latin styled evenings. I was hooked.
After college, I started working in the film industry, but found my best productions were the dinner parties I threw for friends, creating the intimate evenings with honest Latin food they craved but couldn’t find in any restaurant in town. A business was born. In 2001 I started a casa catering, bringing my art of Latin home cooking and entertainment to my clients in New York City. The music and staff is native Latin American, the service and linens are hand crafted from my mother’s country of Nicaragua and the recipes have been passed down for generations.
Word quickly spread, not only of the unique, home-grown atmosphere of my catered events, but of my classic dipping sauces and mouth-watering mini empanadas, a modern twist on a classic Latin American staple—bite-sized, crescent-shaped pastry morsels with succulent fillings. A second business was hatched. With a casa foods I now package and sell my signature treats around town.
Friends and clients urged me to create a home for my unique brand of Latin infused cooking and entertaining, so in 2008 I opened a casa fox. Set in Manhattan’s Lower East Side – where trendy downtowners rub shoulders with an old-guard Latin community – a casa fox is a rustic style refuge from the busy city streets. Visitors from all around can now enjoy a taste of the down-home Central American dining experience I grew up with, and which I invite everyone to come and share with me.
173 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002 (Closed on Sunday)