A Celebration of Food, Family and Life
at Victoria Community Regional Park




About the Project


Cocina Abierta’s artwork at Victoria Community Regional Park encompasses a series of cooking videos and profiles entitled Victoria Park Cooks! The video series feature five members of the Victoria Park community preparing family recipes and participating in their favorite activities at the park. The videos accompany aesthetic improvements that were done in the Victoria Park kitchen, multipurpose room and courtyard.

To get to know the park community, Cocina Abierta attended community programs and observed how food plays a central role in bringing people together. They conducted recipe swaps during evening football practices and potlucks where they served hot chocolate and exchanged recipes with park users.

From their interactions, they identified five community chefs to participate in the project. In collaboration with videographer Mark Escribano and art and public engagement consultant Sara Daleiden, they filmed each chef preparing their favorite dish and reflecting on the importance family and tradition. The team also produced a series of profiles that show the chefs participating in ballroom dancing, basketball, tennis and softball. The profiles give a glimpse of park life and show how each individual is contributing to their community.

Local youth from the Los Angeles Conservation Corps helped to complete the aesthetic improvements at the park. Improvements include a new kitchen island and cooking tools, mirrors for dance instruction, cork and chalkboards for notices, and picnic tables painted with colorful stencils. The artwork is a part of a series of projects funded by a grant from the Los Angeles County Parks and Regional Open Space District that use arts-based solutions to promote the value of civic spaces and deter vandalism at County properties.

Project Photos



Cheryl Gray


Meet Cheryl Gray


Cheryl's Chicken with Mushrooms




Lee Droney


Meet Lee Droney


Lee's Salmon Croquettes


Portia Johnson


Meet Portia Johnson


Portia's Sweet Potato Pie


Iokapeta Tauesi


Meet Iokapeta Tauesi


Iokapeta's Fa'alifu Fa'i and Palusami


Veronica Zuniga


Meet Veronica Zuniga


Veronica's Beef Enchiladas with Red Mole Sauce


About the Artists


Cocina Abierta is a nomadic experimental “test kitchen” run by a collective of Los Angeles based artists and restaurant workers. We use food as a vehicle for cross cultural communication, the sharing of familial histories, and the ​​defense of all food based labor.