Laura Tubelle de González is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at San Diego Miramar College with an interest in food anthropology. She is the advisor for the Food and Culture Club, a student club whose mission is to explore the world’s cultures through cuisine. Recently, she took on the Faculty Sustainability Coordinator position at Miramar College and brought local foods to campus with the Inland Empire CSA and a weekly local foods fest. She is the volunteer school garden coordinator at Arroyo Vista Charter School in Chula Vista and enjoys getting her hands dirty with her daughters and their classmates. As a ten-year-old, Laura appeared in a Frosted Flakes commercial with Tony the Tiger, beginning a life-long fascination with food. She lives in Eastlake with her husband, two daughters, and newly-adopted dog, Mochi.
List everything that you consumed in the past 24 hours:
Breakfast: Honey Nut O’s and 2 cups of coffee (I like the organic shade-grown Ethiopian from Trader Joe’s)
Snack with kids: Jicama strips with lime and salt
Lunch: Leftovers from last night’s dinner – Alaskan sockeye salmon filet with sesame apple and jicama slaw (I used apples from my Inland Empire CSA box)
Afternoon snack: Coffee and absurdly large chocolate chip cookie while reading book (Travels in Alaska by John Muir)
Dinner: Homemade calzones filled with chicken sausage, artichoke hearts, garlic, anchovies, ricotta and mozzarella cheese. (For my oldest daughter, who is a finicky eater, I made one with just cheese and sauce and told her it was a Pizza Pocket.) I made the sauce with Roma tomatoes from the CSA box and basil from my garden. Washed it down with half a glass of Stone Smoked Porter.
List your top 5 restaurants, or favorite meals to cook, or your “rotation”:
With kids: Souplantation, Panera
With husband, no kids: The Linkery and Sea Rocket Bistro (both in North Park) and India Palace (Hillcrest)
Your favorite grocery store:
Your favorite meal you’ve eaten in the past month:
In San Juan, Puerto Rico at Wilo Benet’s “Pikayo,” I ate a piece of halibut marinated as if it were lechón (typical Puerto Rican roast pig) over a bed of gandules (pigeon peas) in escabeche (a vinegar marinade) and flourless chocolate cake for dessert. It was a spiritual experience.
One food item you could not bear to live without ever eating again:
What do you want the readers to know about yourself?
When Michelle Obama announced she was going to plant an organic garden for school kids on the South Lawn, I nearly fell off my chair with excitement. I’m a real supporter of growing one’s own food.
After running the school garden at my children’s elementary school for several years, I see what kind of difference it makes when kids (and adults) are connected to the food they eat. Moms thank me in the halls because their kids have finally started eating lettuce! Wouldn’t it be great if school cafeterias could always feed our kids with good tasting, fresh, locally-farmed produce?
I believe that growing and sharing food, eating organically, and supporting local small farms can change things for the better. One of my favorite quotes is from the poet/farmer Wendell Berry, who says “A garden gives the body the dignity of working in its own support. It is a way of rejoining the human race.”