Welcome, bienvenidos! Come on in to the world of Navarro’s Latin Creole Kitchen. It’s a world filled with spices, color, sounds, aromas, and history. What is Latin Creole? Creole cooking is defined as a style of cuisine characterized by the mixture of European and African influences. We’ve taken it a step further and added the flavors of Latin America.
The path to Navarro’s Latin Creole Kitchen is over 40 years old. My culinary journey started off in the barrios of East Los Angeles, winding its way through Moreno’s Mexican Restaurant and the Homefried Truckstop in Eugene Oregon, veering off the path through the Bitter Root Valley of Montana, finding my way back to Eugene and the Kiva, Hilda’s Latin Restaurant, volunteering with Fiesta Latina, opening and closing Cafe Navarro, getting into social services and Huerto de la Familia and finally landing at Navarro’s Latin Creole Kitchen.
While at Cafe Navarro I had the pleasure and honor of working with folks from the Slow Food movement, Huerto de la Familia, the Deck Family Farm, Polyrock, Organically Grown, Hummingbird and many many more. I got to be the “chivero”, pit-digger, for a Oaxacan style pit-oven barbecue organized by the Eugene Slow Food group and held on the Deck Family Farm in collaboration with Chef Brendan Mehanney. We cooked up two goats and two lambs in an earth-covered pit. I worked with Paul Atkinson of Laughing Stock Farms at another Slow Food event where Paul, my daughter and I “processed” the pig, and yes we thanked our brother pig for his service, and then we slow cooked all 200 pounds of him for a good 8 hours. We are talking some serious fun.
Working with the fine families from Huerto de la Familia led me back to my food roots and to building Navarro's Latin Creole Kitchen. I truely believe that food is the center of the universe.