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.