Gustavo Arellano, perennial nominee for IVC Commencement Speaker, was featured in yesterday's Los Angeles Times as part of the nationwide launch for his new book (his third, but who's counting?): "Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America."
Arellano, an OC native, Cal State Fullerton instructor and current editor-in-chief of the OC Weekly, is a regular guest on KPCC's Larry' Mantle's Airtalk show and KCRW's Evan Kelinman's popular weekend show, Good Food.
from Reed Johnson's "To Gustavo Arellano, Mexican food is a big melting pot" --
As he describes in salivating detail in his new book, "Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America" (Scribner: 318 pp., $25), the cuisine that has migrated north across the Rio Grande and the Tijuana border is too big and complex to be neatly wrapped up in tinfoil stereotypes and reductive generalities.To read the rest, click here.
Rather, Mexican American food has become a movable fiesta of hybrid tastes and bold regional experiments that have rendered terms like "authenticity" essentially useless, Arellano believes. If the "classic" Mexican recipes of Anglo cookbook authors like Diana Kennedy, and the cosmopolitan concoctions served at Rick Bayless' Red O restaurant on Melrose are rightly regarded as one strain of Mexican fare, Arellano argues, then so too should Taco Bell. Mexican food is a big, inclusive kitchen, he says; all are welcome who add something to the melting pot.
Gustavo will be one of the many authors appearing at the Los Angeles Festival of Books at USC this weekend. His panel is titled Food Writing: American Potluck and begins at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday
Where: Ronald Tutor Campus Center on the USC Campus
Who: Panelists are Gustavo Arellano, Aaron Bobrow-Strain, Jennifer 8. Lee, moderated by Jonathan Gold.
During the two day celebration that is the Festival of Books, Rebel Girl and Red Emma will be hanging out at the Santa Monica College booth (#993) near the Tommy Tojoan statue. Red will be broadcasting live from the festival on Sunday morning via KPFK. Tune in or drop by. It's a weekend of free fun and lots and lots of books!
To read Red's recent OC Bookly column on Gustavo's new book (from which Rebel Girl swiped her nifty blog post title, click here.
(photo: Arkasha Stevenson/LA Times)