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PCC Culinary Student Features Native Ingredients as Guest Chef

February 6, 2014

New Tohono O’odham magazine hosts special event Feb. 6 to promote traditional food ways

Tucson, AZ – A member of the Tohono O’odham Nation who is a Pima Community College Culinary Arts student and professional chef, is offering  a special four-course dinner at Desert Rain Café, in Sells on Feb. 6, as a way to increase appreciation for indigenous ingredients.

Larry Patricio, Jr., who also is a graduate of PCC’s Center for Training and Development’s Culinary and Food Industry training, created the menu for this event sponsored by the new Native Foodways Magazine, a publication of Tohono O’odham Community Action.

The menu is Sweet Potato Soup with a Ginger Cilantro Pesto, Tepary Bean, Shrimp and Nopales Salad, Masa Cup Stuffed with Butternut Squash, Enchilada Style, accompanied by Turkey Breast in a Red Mole Sauce, and Ancho Chocolate Espresso Pots de Crème Custard for dessert.

“Larry is strongly connected to the Tohono O’odham culture and very proud of his tradition” said Elizabeth Mikesell, CTD’s Culinary and Food Industry faculty, who also praised Patricio’s creativity and dedication. “He has a natural curiosity for indigenous foods and enjoys combining the culinary skills he has learned at Pima Community College with his native cuisine to create modern renditions that are very pleasing to the palate.”

Patricio won the 2013 TOCA Iron Chef competition and was a member of five PCC team winners of the Tucson Meet Yourself Iron Chef team competition. He did his CTD externship at Downtown Kitchen + Cocktails.

Patricio is from the West Villages Community in the Chukut Kuk District and grew up in Choulic, about 20 miles south of Sells, the capital of the Tohono O’odham Nation. Patricio runs his own personal chef/catering business.

The next guest chef dining event is March 21 at Desert Rain Cafe and features Diné Chef Freddie Bitsoie.

For more information, call Desert Rain Cafe, (520) 383-4918.

C.J. Karamargin
Vice Chancellor for Public Information and Federal Government Relations
(520) 206-4850