Meet Mercedes Golip - Chef and founder of My Venezuelan Kitchen in New York

Updated: Feb 1

From the Iroquois White Corn Project to My Venezuelan Kitchen, the non GMO ancient variety of corn connects Mercedes Golip’s gastronomic traditions with her journey as an immigrant in the US.

Photo: Courtesy of Mercedes Golip

“Food is emotional, it connects us to our childhood and culture. It makes us less scared of insecurity.”

Mercedes Golip grew up in Caracas and left Venezuela in 2006 to move to the United States. Mercedes, who is self taught, quickly embarked on a gastronomic exploration through her origins and traditions, to fight homesickness. She demonstrates her commitment to sustainability in many ways, including the sourcing of her products. One of the challenges she faced, as most immigrant Chefs do, was to express the flavors of her country by sourcing responsibly and locally. Instead of using imported ingredients, she seeks out foods that are grown in the state. After a lot of research, she was inspired by local producers and the amazing food they grow, especially the Iroquois White Corn Project. This Native American-led farming project in western New York farms and sells a 1,500-year-old strain of corn that Golip uses to make her flour to cook arepas and tamales. By supporting this project, she contributes to restore the environmentally responsible agricultural practices of the traditional Iroquois White Corn, and she supports the Native American communities by offering their products to the community at large.

Even though Mercedes does not claim to make the best Venezuelan cuisine, her culinary excellence is transmitted through a quality selection of ingredients. Her cuisine represents the expression of a new cuisine whose foundations are the classic Venezuelan traditions and has been reinvented and influenced by the context of other cuisines. Through this highly driven project called My Venezuelan kitchen, she spreads the word about the food she loves through cooking classes, pop-up dinners, and various consulting missions.

Welcome Mercedes to Chefs for Impact!

By Mercedes Golip as told to Chefs for Impact

What brought you to be a Chef in New York?