First Taste of Latin America Festival Invades Chicago

By: Carmen Lopez

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Local NewsLatin American culture has been flourishing in Chicago neighborhoods for years. However, there is no set neighborhood that is considered the center of Latin American cuisine. Therefore, 26th Ward Alderman Roberto Maldonado has worked diligently in the past couple of years to bring the Taste of Latin America to the streets of Chicago.

Maldonado has been the heart and soul of the planning of this festival. “I am extremely proud that this is the first taste of Latino America,” he said.

The festival is geared towards people who enjoy food. Maldonado mentioned, “It is going to be a beautiful opportunity for those Latin American food lovers and Latinos and non-Latinos to come and in a given geographic area be able to taste food from various Latin American countries.” The festival will be exposing Chicagoans to everything that the Latino culture has to offer.

“We have confirmed 18 restaurants from different Latin American countries,” Maldonado said. Amongst the restaurants that have already been confirmed are Zapatista, Las Tablas, El Veneno de Nayarit, and 90 Miles.
“We did not allow any country to have more than two restaurants,” said Maldonado. This is the organizers way of allowing attendees a wide variety of restaurants to choose from.

The festival will feature musicians from various Latin American countries. “We are going to have cooking and appetizer presentations from the executive chef at Carnivale,” added Maldonado. The festival will also feature Latin American wine tasting. Attendees will have the option of purchasing sample sizes of wine.

“We expect to have about 20,000 people over the three days,” said Maldonado. The festival will be occurring August 24 through the 26th on Armitage Avenue between Central Park and Avers. The event is free and food prices range from two to seven dollars.


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