We had the good fortune of connecting with Tiffani Ortiz and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Tiffani, we’d love to hear more about your end-goal, professionally.
By the end of my career i’d like to create a closed loop hospitality system/space that isn’t financially out of the realm of possibility for the working class to benefit from. A home base that houses and connects all of my creative, humanitarian, and business endeavors, while still benefitting both my community and the environment. My end goal isn’t to achieve financial success, rather than to learn from others, share what i’ve discovered myself, and continue to find happiness in my work while still maintaining a healthy balance. Reaching people through food, a necessity and the great common denominator amongst all genders and races, as a means to spark conversation and ingenuity that best serves the earth. I’d also love to purchase an absurd amount of chickens.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
In 2017 my husband, Andy Doubrava, and I created Uprooted. The current working title for a series of guerilla style pop ups that I playfully refer to as our “table to farm” experiment. Through food, at these small to large scale events, I strived to open conversations about the connection we have with our food, where it comes from, and how it relates to our community as a whole. Typically and ideally these high brow and low brow dining experiences are hosted on farms. At the risk of sounding “preachy”, after working in the New York restaurant industry for nearly 10 years, I arrived at the realization that as a society (only generally speaking) we not only aren’t aware of where the ingredients in our meals come from, but also often are too caught up in the chaos of day to day life to truly appreciate it and the people who make it all possible, our farmers.

After leaving my then cushy, verging on corporate, chef job i traveled to California in hopes of volunteering on the then farm/ bnb Malibu Orchards. It was during that poor man’s eat pray love journey, that i reconnected with Andy, and old friend from culinary school. Needless to say, it is very easy for two chefs to fall in love while residing in a teepee over looking the pacific ocean. Romance can Be very motivating to say the least, so i traveled back to new york city. sold most of my modest possessions, and began the journey that would change my life. We traveled farm to farm through WWOOF, and worked on organic farms from New York to California in exchange for room, board, and a hot meal here and there. The work was hard but not without thanks, and along the way i made many friends and learned that of all my years cooking, i knew NOTHING.

The experiences i had, cooking with only the limited ingredients available through harvesting and bartering, along with foraged ingredients we were certain wouldn’t kill us (uh hopefully) changed the way i cooked, ate and lived. Oh, and that farm from before? Malibu Orchards? They asked if we would stay indefinitely. While living in that very Orchard where we fell in love, Uprooted at its rawest and awkwardest was born. I honed what little i knew about farming there, made some friends, and some enemies. It wasn’t an easy life, but it certainly wasn’t boring. Sadly in 2018 the farm was lost to the Woolsey fires, luckily no one was harmed, and we had moved off the farm a few days prior. Adjusting to city life and working in professional kitchens again was hard, and then the pandemic made it harder. Don’t worry, it gets happy again!

Uprooted is BACK, and we got a make over! We’ve just begun crowd funding for our regenerative farm project. We hope through crowd funding platforms, farm dinners, pop ups, and private funding that we can break ground within the year. I sure am a dreamer, so we’ve got big plans for the future. This includes affordable and thoughtful bed and breakfast and dining experiences, culinary gardens, and beyond. We are very close to our goal and i’m optimistic when i think about our little businesses future.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Man, what a great question!

For coffee: Blueys ( for west siders), Full Service Coffee (for everyone else).

For snacks: El Zarappe ( the sleeper hit of LA, but you need to go to the Los Feliz location), Bay Cities ( the Godmother is a 10 out of 10), Gjusta (we will literally just tear a sourdough loaf apart with our hands and eat it on the side walk)

For dinner: Rustic Canyon (Andy is the the executive chef there now so my opinion is biased, but michelin guide seems to agree), Tsujita (mind blowing ramen)

For cocktails Genever LA ( Those chicks know how to party
For a beer: Weary Livers (Bartenders a teddy bear)

Activities: Shatto 39 ( bowling and walking dead arcade games that will take all of your quarters), The airport dog, dog park ( yea thats really the name and its perfect. Pretend you have a dog and meet a good boy)

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 owe a lot of my identity as a chef to the WWOOF program. Through WWOOF i was able to, in a dark uncertain time in my life and career, fall in love with food again one ingredient at a time. In my earlier years my mother Loren Gonzalez Hernandez also served as a constant inspiration and blue print for how to navigate the world as a woman with very little means. Her work ethic, dedication to family, and ferocity in taking care of the people she loved, inevitably shaped me into the independent woman i am today. Lastly a shout out to my best friend and partner in all things romantic and culinary, Andy Doubrava. With out his mutual fascination with food and how it ticks, paired with his love and patience, i might not be the chef, or dog mom that i am today.

Website: https://linktr.ee/uprootedcooking

Instagram: @UprootedCooking

Other: Farm Project Go Fund Me: https://gofund.me/fa13c97c

Image Credits
@ashleyrandallphoto Ashley Randall

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