We had the good fortune of connecting with Marina Barrios and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marina, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
One of the most important factors behind Aliment Kitchen’s success is staying true to myself and spreading awareness through compassion. Aliment Kitchen is not just another vegan dessert, everything I craft is made with intention and love. I believe in the ailments of plants, flowers and the magic of presentation. Sometimes those who may not share the same views/ethics as oneself may subconsciously cancel another out. I don’t usually introduce my product as a vegan dessert but as a piece of edible art. Every item I create is crafted with imagination, no beings harmed and no flavor lacking. Nature is so magical and healing and I try to incorporate that into all my creations as much possible. Vegans and non vegans alike appreciate the attention to detail without the compromise of flavor. Seeing people’s eyes light up when they see my product is reassuring that I’m doing what I’m suppose to be doing.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a hopeless romantic with a dark aesthetic. I think you can see that in all my work and has become my trademark. There’s just something so beautiful in the shadows that most are too scared to see. I’m most proud of how far I’ve come with baking. When I first started baking I never thought I would turn it into a business. It was more of me making sure my kids never missed out on celebrations or felt left out at social gatherings because of their ethical values. We all eat with our eyes first and it was always such a bummer having to tell my kid that they couldn’t pick that treat because it wasn’t vegan and then pointing over to the vegan option which was not as cool as the other ones. I always have made it a point to create little pieces of art that you can enjoy and feel extra special about. I love breaking the stigma of a vegan diet. We’ve come so far in this day and age with animal free alternatives that I truly believe anything can be veganized. I still have a long way to go with learning different techniques, baking is truly a science and there has been a lot of failed experiments but that has only helped me grow and think even more outside the box. Food is amazing and we are lucky to have such a open play with flavor and concept. We tend to mindlessly eat most of the time and miss out on what is really happening on our plates and in our bodies. There’s a quote on a magnet I bought years ago at a small vegan festival in LA that said “ you may not be able to change the world, but you can change the world of one animal” and that has always stuck with me. I’m very ambitious when it comes to change and making the world a better place and sometimes you feel defeated or you feel like there’s no hope, but I always remember that magnet. I always remember that our sole actions can create such a ripple in the lives of others.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If I had to create a little itinerary for a So Cal trip, I would definitely start my mornings off with breakfast from Little Barn Coffee House in LA and head over to one of the historic Cemeteries throughout the city. I’m a sucker for cemeteries and love checking out the old tombs and old trees. Lunch from Purgatory Pizza is a must. The build your own is my go to, you can have it anyway you like. Also, make sure to grab the vegan ranch, DELICIOUS! Venice boardwalk strolls will be on the list along with some coffee road trips down into the IE. Rad Coffee(Upland, CA) and Roast the Dead(Yucaipa, CA) would be on that route and Oak Glen is definitely a little nice quick breathe of fresh mountain air not far from Roast the Dead. Another hidden gem that we would have to go visit is in Yucca Valley called Yucca Valley Outpost. It’s an all vegan cafe with the best salad and vegan Parmesan I’ve had so far. Joshua Tree National park is just a few miles down the road so catching some stars under the desert sky would also be a must. Heading back into LA to end our week we would check out Vegan Hooligans for some vegan comfort food, Rainbow Bar & Grill to hangout in Lemmy’s Lounge, Voodoo Vegan food truck for some Cajun comfort and a stop at the Museum of Death. I’m sure there’s more places i’d add to the list throughout the day but these would definitely be a must to check out.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I wouldn’t be on this journey without the encouragement and support of my husband Jose and my two favorite muses, my boys Syd and Lemmy. I am really lucky to have a partner who is always down with all of my ideas. I can be all over the place at times with all of these ideas and sometimes I get to overwhelmed and shut down but he’s always there to pull me through and help me bring things to life.