Cristina Martinez is a chef and immigrant activist, originally from Capulhuac, Mexico. She and her husband, Ben Miller, own two Philadelphia restaurants, South Philly Barbacoa and Casa México. Since her restaurant’s opening, Cristina has received a service award from the mayor of Philadelphia, told the story of her life for an award-winning Univision podcast, and was the subject of Netflix culinary shows such as David Chang’s Ugly Delicious and the gourmet docuseries Chef’s Table. Their movement, called “Right to Work”, seeks to shed light on the normally invisible immigrant workers in the restaurant industry. Independent filmmaker and Temple FMA faculty member Byron Karabatsos has been filming a documentary on Cristina and Ben, following their activism, Cristina’s rise to success, and her personal journey of trying to reunite with her children. Dr. Kathleen Cunniffe Peña, Assistant Professor at Muskingham University, has been translating for this project. Together, they will then lead a series of questions and answers with Cristina and Ben about their philosophy of food and social justice, their engagement with the media, and their most recent project, “The People’s Kitchen”—a food security and employment survival project in collaboration with South Philly Barbacoa.
This event will be in Spanish and English.