La Cosecha, an expansive new food and retail center around the block from Washington D.C.’s Union Market is soon to open for business, and it’s poised to be a game-changing Mid-Atlantic hub for modern Latinx culture and dining. The new market is scheduled for an official opening in September.
Honestly, it’s hard to know where to start because everything sounds so crave-worthy. There’s Ali Pacha, a plant-based restaurant whose head chef Sebastian Quiroga hails from Bolivia; the first Ali Pacha in La Paz has had food critics swooning ever since the “menu first-look” pre-opening event.
There’s also Christian Irabién’s establishment Amparo, featuring modern Mexican cuisine that will challenge your culinary expectations. Born in Chihuahua, Irabién explained on social media that Mexican food is rooted in traditions but ever-evolving. “In Chihuahua, we had Chinese neighbors, Italian neighbors, a big Jewish community. There’s a lot of food being cooked using Mexican products that’s not in restaurants [in the U.S.] because anything that falls out of the mold of a taco isn’t considered Mexican.” He proceeds to tantalize future diners by describing one of his signature dishes, a homemade ravioli stuffed with requesón and served with a sauce made from roasted poblanos.
Also be on the lookout for Grand Cata, a wine bar featuring natural wines from across Latin America; FILOS Bakery, whose German-Mexican-Italian owner Francesca Arienzo bakes classics and mash-up versions of pastries and such that reflect her homeland of Mexico and the traditions of European bakers; and Café Unido, a Panamanian coffee roaster who is dedicated to making tasty coffee for D.C. coffee snobs while improving the communities of its coffee growers.
Brazil-born Carolina Furukrona, owner of La Cosecha’s first retail shop Nova Bossa, will be showcasing fashion, crafts, and other goods that are imported from South America, products that reflect both the tastes of the modern consumer as well as the communities from which they came. Furukrona told the Washington Post that she makes a point to be an ethical retailer that honors Latin American communities rather than simply capitalizing off of their work for profit. “Is it paying fair wages?” she considers. “Is it appropriating culture, or is it doing it the right way?” She shared that she felt that La Cosecha embodies these considerations as well, presenting pan-American culture through a fresh lens that she and the developer of La Cosecha both described to the Post as “sophisticated.” “It’s about time that we had something like this that celebrated our culture. I think a celebration of food and fashion and design and community is not controversial. It’s not partisan. But it’s timely.”