My background in cooking goes back to when I was a young girl watching my grandma cook in what we call “El Fogon” in Puerto Rico. El Fogon is like an outside stove using wood to cook. Those were the best home cooked meals I could remember. 

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Joely’s serving a taste of Puerto Rico

Get to know Joely and get her Taste of Puerto Rico in Humboldt Park!

What’s your cooking background? 

My background in cooking goes back to when I was a young girl, watching my grandma cook in what we call “El Fogon” in Puerto Rico. El Fogon is like an outside stove using wood to cook. Those were the best home cooked meals I could remember. 

Who do you think about when you make this dish? What does it remind you of? 

When making any Puerto Rican food – all I can think of is the spices I use to make our food are so unique. The smell in the kitchen is incredible and reminds me of my grandma’s house in Puerto Rico, and when she used fresh cilantro, oregano, garlic and recao (culantro). All picked from her little garden outside her Fogon. 


Joely’s A taste of Puerto Rico: “White rice, beans with a slice of pumpkin and some sausage and air fried pork chops.

Where did you grow up and what kind of food did you grow up with?

I was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in Chicago (Humboldt Park area). I grew up eating Puerto Rican food that was made from scratch, and using our home made fresh Sofrito that is used in almost every dish.

Anything else we should know about you and your cooking?

I love to cook and share my meals with family and friends. One of the best feelings as a cook is to see everyone enjoy a plate of food made with love.



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By Shmeal

The Shmeal Team. 🐖💻
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