“After living in Hawaii, my palette changed completely.”

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Starla’s meals are inspired by growing up in Chicago and Honolulu 🌭🍍

Get to know Starla in this Q&A and get her “Mapo Tofu” in Humboldt Park SUNDAY (4/28) from 10AM to noon!

Q: What’s your cooking background?

Starla: Right after high school, I started working in restaurants because I heard it was good money. I worked my way up from hostess, to lead food runner.

Follow Starla on Instagram @_lastar_

I was spending more time near the kitchen and I grew curious and asked the chef to let me try working in the kitchen. He agreed and that was about 5 years ago, I’ve cooked at a variety of restaurants since then, blessed to have learned from some amazing chefs. 

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

Starla: I was born in the suburbs and lived in different areas around Chicago until I was 13. At that time my mom accepted a job in Honolulu and my sister and I moved there with her. I just moved back to Chicago less than a year ago. Growing up I ate a lot of Mexican food because of my Mexican family.

Some sweets by Starla. πŸ˜‹

After living in Hawaii, my palette changed completely. I was in constant exposure to the freshest seafood and the best Asian cuisine, so those are the types of foods I tend to cook now. 

Sunday (4/28) 10AM to noon in Humboldt! Starla’s “Mapo Tofu!” Mapo Tofu is a staple in Asian comfort food. It is a mix of tofu cubes and ground pork, simmered in green onion, garlic, fresh ginger, Asian spices, chili oil & sesame oil. Served with white rice and a fried egg, if desired.

Q: What’s your favorite food memory? 

Starla: My favorite memories with food all associate with family/friend gatherings, like family bbqs in the summer or holidays where we’re all cooking together, laughing & having fun. Food brings people together and that’s why I love cooking! 

Q: Anything else we should know about you and your cooking? 

Starla: I’m always trying new things but at the same time working to perfect recipes. I’d describe my style as fresh cooking with lots of Asian and Hispanic influence. I’m so excited to share my food with people and I hope ya’ll enjoy! 

Follow Starla to see what she makes next! 🏑 And get her “Mapo Tofu” in Humboldt Park SUNDAY (4/28) from 10AM to noon!

By Shmeal

The Shmeal Team. πŸ–πŸ’»
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