By Emily Ureste
The process of making arepas is like magic, from the second you put your hands in the dough to the finished product. As Adriana Rondón speaks of this process, her hands move with her voice, mimicking the motions of preparing the food that has come to mean everything to her.
For Adriana, El Camino de la Arepa is more than just the name of her popular cooking class: it is the journey of the Venezuelan people from their homeland to places beyond. Adriana herself moved from Caracas, Venezuela to Denver seven years ago. Upon her move, she cites arepas as a source of healing and lessening feelings of sadness and nostalgia due to leaving her country.
“I think eating arepas is the first memory for every Venezuelan,” Adriana confides with laughter in voice. “We eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!” She goes on to describe the importance of joining with community and family around the table, both to make arepas and to eat them. Her own first memory of enjoying this food was at her grandmother's house in the Caribbean region, where the arepas are giant and taste like heaven.
Since moving to Colorado, Adriana has realized her passion for sharing her culture with Denverites. Through teaching others the process that is integral to her life, she celebrates her roots and raises money for organizations that are currently working in Venezuela. When she shares her culture and her memories, she creates a community centered around the love of good food.
Adriana believes that arepas are for everybody. They are deliciously warm, gluten free, and can be modified for both vegetarians and meat lovers. She has never met a person who didn’t like arepas, and believes that as Venezuelans continue to migrate, their food will be brought to wider audiences as well.
From Adriana’s perspective, buen provecho means that food is like medicine. It heals you, brings you back to lovely memories, and makes you happy. Her famous arepas will be featured during cocktail hour, presented by All Angles Covered Roofing, at Buen Provecho on October 13th!