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Photos are $45 each, printed as 8x10 or 8x8 on matte finish. Click each thumbnail to read more about the images & the photographers who made them. All purchases benefit Al Otro LadoAlerta Migratoria NC.

Todo es Sagrado - Victoria Bouloubasis

Todo es Sagrado - Victoria Bouloubasis


Celaya, Guanajuato, Mexico. December 26, 2015

During the day, sunlight shines on the butcher block at Luis Ortega’s carniceria. In the middle of the shop, a clothesline supports dozens of hanging chorizos. A massive illustration of the Virgen de Guadalupe peeks through the links, her hands pressed in prayer, blessing the butcher. It's there, in the midst of plucking sausages from the line, that Luis confesses how much he misses grits. Some Southern recipes, he says, can be amended with Mexican ingredients. He can find the white wine to make the brine for Crook's Corner's famed green Tabasco chicken. And the beets, too, for beet salad, another favorite. But not the grits. He misses the grits.

Luis steered dinner service with other Mexican cooks, side-by-side with award-winning chef Bill Smith in North Carolina. He speaks about food the way this hipster generation talks recipes: with a nerdy zeal, sharp criticism, and an insatiable desire to talk the subject to death. Cooks like Luis navigate the world of fine dining and become an integral part of it; they represent a growing sect of a creative class obsessed with food. After several years at Crook's, Luis returned to Mexico in 2007. He grew tired of waiting for policy reform, of feeling trapped without the mobility to ever see his family again, or even to drive just fifteen minutes into another town, for fear of getting stopped without a license and getting deported.

Victoria Bouloubasis is a journalist, food writer and filmmaker based in Durham, NC. Through the lens of food, her work aims to dispel myths about the Global South—its people and places—against the backdrop of complex social, political and personal histories.

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