Awakening The Healing Traditions of Dominican Food
Awakening The Healing Traditions of Dominican Food
What is WOKE? Woke is a state of consciousness that allows us to understand how politics influences our personal lives. Woke Foods believes mindful eating and ancestral foods is a way to keep our cultural traditions alive. Our food is influenced by the flavors of the Dominican Republic, and prepared with plant-based ingredients -- in other words: no meat. We are a socially conscious, sustainable green food business. We use food as a tool to leverage our political and spiritual power. Sourcing our ingredients from local New York community gardens and farms, using earth-friendly materials, composting our waste, and running as a worker-owned cooperative, is how we create economic power and commit to our community and Mother Earth.
We are Merelis and Ysanet! We are both Afro-indigenous Dominican women who are guided by African and Indigenous roots and ancestors. We love food, specifically Dominican food, and wholeheartedly believe that food is medicine! We are educators, organizers, vegan and vegetarian chefs, nutrition brujas, and farmers in training. Our hope and desire with Woke Foods is to use it as a platform to remind our people of the knowledge they already have within them, talk about our collective ancestral connection to food, and share vegan and vegetarian Dominican food practices with our community.
We do this work through storytelling, catering, meal-planning, and cooking classes. As a business owned by women of color, we recognize how important it is for us to create businesses that are for us, by us! Most importantly, we recognize the role we play in caring for and protecting Mother Earth. We choose to prepare and eat plant-based foods because of the negative impact the meat production industry has on the planet. We are excited about the journey we are embarking on, and welcome all of you to join us.
¡Saludos! I am Merelis Catalina, a Afro-indígena Dominicana. I was born and raised in Queens, NY; my motherland the Dominican Republic (DR). I stayed connected to DR by visiting family during the summer every two years. I graduated from the City College of New York, where I discovered my passion for food sovereignty and studied the connection between culture and food. The past five years, I have worked with the Northern Manhattan community around nutrition education, to speak on ways food is medicine. Today I work as a wellness organizer, where I help organize schools and early childhood centers bring wellness to their spaces in a culturally respectful way. I am guided and inspired by my community of powerful and loving Black and Brown people. I am the living legacy of my ancestors and family, who have and continue to nourish and heal community through food.
I love to eat tostones and make my natural version of vivaporú called Vidaporú!
¡Buenas! I am Ysanet and I am a queer Afro-Dominicana, born in Harlem, NY. I was raised in between the Dominican Republic and Hialeah, FL. I spent my childhood in Santo Domingo, DR playing in my grandmother’s garden, then moved to Florida. I graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI and spent a couple of years working in major hotel companies before transitioning to community based work. Today, I live and work in the Bronx as a nutrition and food justice educator for bilingual middle school students. My passions include holistic cooking, farming, writing, community organizing, and making homemade products. I am inspired by the power and magic of Black and Brown people, the ocean, and the Now. I am currently a student at Farm School NYC earning a certificate in Urban Agriculture.
I love eating Platano Maduros and talking gut health!
As a cooperative business we strive to work alongside people through food! We envision people using food to heal and nourish their body, mind, and spirit. Woke Foods is here to work with you by providing catering, meal planning, and cooking classes! Our services allow us to build a relationship with you that will add quality, nutritious, and culturally relevant plant-based foods to your life. Sourcing our ingredients from local New York community gardens and farms, using earth-friendly materials, and composting our waste. We are dedicated to running a sustainable green food business that protects our Mother Earth and you.
We provide full - service catering for your meeting, conference, party, and other gatherings. Woke Foods prepares plant-based and seasonal dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We choose biodegradable catering supplies, offer delivery, and pride ourselves in offering loving and attentive customer service. Our catering supports our community directly, by sourcing our ingredients ethically from local partners and providing jobs to immigrant women of color living in NYC. We have had the pleasure of providing food for social justice oriented events, organizations, and institutions throughout NYC and NJ. Take a look at our seasonal menu and let us cater to you!
We invite you to discover a world of delicious plant-based foods and explore your kitchen skills through our hands-on cooking classes. We offer cooking classes that allow you to learn how to prepare fresh and easy plant-based dishes while building relationships with people. Our classes are taught by one or two experienced chefs that will teach you how to make different plant-based dishes. You'll learn knife care skills and to eat seasonally to energize your body. Our classes provide a space of positivity, community building, and learning that will give you confidence to go home and share your new learned knowledge with your people. Check out photos from our recent cooking classes.
We understand that meal planning for the week can be challenging, which is why we offer weekly meal plans to make your week easy, healthy, & plant-based! Our meals are prepared from scratch using organic, ethically sourced, and locally grown produce and the healthiest cooking methods possible. You can count on meals that are preservative and pesticide free, have no processed vegan ingredients, are free of hydrogenated oils, and can be made gluten-free, if requested. We are dedicated to making our meals culturally respectful, rich in nutrients, and balanced! Food is about giving you energy and your body nourishment to do life NOW.