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Watch: The Oakland Chef Blending Mexican Cuisine With California Influences

Michelin-trained chef Dominica Rice-Cisneros invigorates Oakland with dishes like pork belly tacos

Sheldon Simeon knows that a trip to California isn’t complete without a visit to a local farmers market, so he’s stopping by an Oakland market with chef Dominica Rice-Cisneros in this episode of Cooking in America. “My true joy was going to the markets,” says Rice-Cisneros of her time spent in Mexico City. “I wanted to recreate that here in Oakland.”

Rice-Cisneros is doing so at Cosecha — her bustling California restaurant that blends her classic Michelin training (including Daniel in New York and the Bay Area’s Chez Panisse) with her adoration for Mexican cuisine and California produce. The dishes that best represent this ethos and her desire to invigorate the neighborhood are pork belly tacos and a salad made of the season’s latest produce. “I want to see Oakland really invest in its students and take care of its families,” says Rice-Cisneros. “I’m really fearful that those communities will get lost in the shuffle.”

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