Immigrants are going head-to-head on a new web series cooking competition where they will share their personal stories and family recipes with viewers. Produced by United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led organization in America, No Borders, Just Flavors! is a four-episode series on YouTube that features contestants who are undocumented immigrants, DACA recipients, and first- and second-generation immigrants showing off their skills in the kitchen.
“No Borders, Just Flavors! brings immigrant stories to life by centering the voices within the immigrant community itself,” said Juanita Monsalve, executive producer and creative director, in a statement. “Every aspect of the show is intentional. We were deliberate about making a series that features the diversity of the immigrant experience both in front and behind the camera and streaming it on YouTube – a platform where audiences of color go to get authentic stories they can’t find anywhere else that reflect their own lives.”
Monsalve, who is also the senior marketing and creative director of United We Dream, added that she believes the series will bring people together because immigrants from around the world share the same kind of culinary traditions and family recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation.
“Food is a source of joy that brings us together despite perceived differences, and it is at the heart of the immigrant identity, which is why No Borders, Just Flavors! makes it the centerpiece of a bigger conversation,” Monsalve said.
The recipes on No Borders, Just Flavors! will include flavors from Latin America, Africa, Asia, and beyond. One of the Latine contestants, Emmanuel, is an immigrant from Mexico. He came to the United States when he was seven years old. “This is the only way that I can still taste Mexico without having to cross the border,” he said. “It’s one of the ways I can still connect with my roots.”
Another contestant is Estefania, who is originally from Guayaquil, Ecuador. She’s currently attending Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts and she was noted as saying, “When I moved to the US, I started to miss my country. I started to miss my food. I started to miss my people. Nowadays I just try to cook as many recipes as I can possibly do and that way I feel a little bit closer to home.”
And Betsabe, who is originally from Villa Clara, Cuba also talked about how her grandfather was a political asylee who came to the US and who set her on this path she’s on now.
No Borders, Just Flavors! debuts on the United We Dream YouTube channel on April 20, 2023, at 8 p.m. ET.