“Latina immigrants advocating for healthy food traditions to change communities and transform lives.”
What started as a 7-week nutrition program seven years ago in National City (CA) for women seeking healthier diets, has become a Latina-led movement to raise the health, wellbeing, and resilience of the community. National City has one of the highest rates of obesity and diabetes in San Diego County and in the state of California, and the program graduates, called “Kitchenistas”, are out to change that, one healthy meal at a time. Now after 18 graduating classes, more than 275 Kitchenistas stay the course to overcome systemic barriers in bringing high-quality food solutions into their homes, schools, and city. Not to be underestimated, these women show how a range of small advocacy actions over time lead to big changes. The Kitchenistas are community builders and advocates for “real food” and re-connection through the kitchen.
David Romero is the founder of Eddie Grace Film, and is an award-winning director and cinematographer. David has a 25-year international professional career across multiple media fields. He has established a national reputation for his creative body of work in both music and film, and has explored themes of community and connectedness as a notable Latino Southern California artist. Credits include Producer-Director-Writer of Making Fun – The Story of Funko (Netflix); Producer-Director-Writer of Bread, Salt, and Graphite Kid (KPBS) ; Director, We the Owners (PBS, Cinema Guild), and Director of Photography-Editor, The Kitchenistas of National City (PBS). David grew up in the National City community. As a native San Diegan, David spent much of his early years in and around National City, where he began his performing and recording career. He credits the teachings from his upbringing to his social and cultural storytelling approaches in film and music. He attended San Diego State University with a focus on media arts, while earning a BA in English Literature. David has helped to design and direct numerous film-based creative and educational programs in San Diego and across the U.S., along with various international musical projects as a producer, vocalist and songwriter. He was raised knowing that his family’s food was shaped by Mexican culture. The recipes were their secrets and their moms were the keepers of these sacred dishes. When he learned about the Kitchenistas, he was curious how these women started and tried to grasp the impact that this could have. Their influence has outreached his expectations. The Kitchenistas are transforming this community for the better…a community where he grew up. He is proud to bring the skills and knowledge from his film and media career, including directing feature films, to share this story from our kitchen counters to every corner of the world.