While growing up in Hawaii and California, Aileen began to retrace her family’s migration stories through nearly-lost recipes. As an educator and chef, she weaves a love of food with a background in sustainable agriculture, environmental justice, and community empowerment. Struck by the rise in chronic disease and the need for more culturally relevant resources for food, she turned towards traditionally-inspired foods as a means to regenerate health and local food systems. As a member of the women-led incubator La Cocina, she launched Sariwa ("Fresh" in Filipino) as a mission-driven food enterprise centered on food, culture and healing. Aileen connects with dozens of schools, gardens, colleges and hospitals in the Bay and beyond, and collaborates with projects including Sama Sama Cooperative and the Rooted Recipes Project. Her work was recognized as a Bon Appetit Healthyish honoree.

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