Patia is a UX designer and social media consultant based in Brooklyn, New York. She is also a talented home-cook. For Patia, cooking is one of the ways she feels closer to her ancestors, the people who worked incredibly hard to make spaces for her to exist in.

What is your food heritage?

Lumpia and collard greens. I’m Filipino and Black. I love savory.

What is your personal mission?

I want to build a bigger table, not a higher fence. I want to dismantle the system and rebuild it. What spices, herbs or recipes remind you of home? Black peppercorns, sweet potatoes, cornbread, soy sauce, collard greens, adobo chicken, and Mang Tomas All Purpose Sauce.

What have you prepared today and what does it mean to you?

I basically came out of the womb eating grits since I’m from the South. Soul food has a really intriguing history; a lot of the dishes derive from the foods that were given to enslaved people on plantations down south. When we consume soul food, we are connecting heavily to a resilient group of people who have always fought for equality. Brooklyn White said it best: Grits are classified as soul food, the descendent of slave meals and poverty dishes made up of what could be grown or scraped up. The best thing about grits is that you can eat it so many ways. Sometimes I’ll add sugar, sometimes cheese, sometimes just a tablespoon of some Country Crock butter, but my favourite way is to pair it with a juicy fried pork chop. That’s a Sunday after church special. It’s the most comforting meal when you’ve been at church for 8 hours with your auntie.

What are your Always (go-to) foods?

Okra, mango, tamarind, jackfruit!

Fried Porkchops & Cheesy Grits With Greenz



  • 2 Pork Chops
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Enough flour to cover a plate
  • Ghee to taste
  • 2 cups Jim Dandy Quick Grits

  • 4  cups water
  • A LOT of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 tbsp. Butter
  • Handful of Shredded greens
  • 1 Lemon
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Vinegar and red pepper flakes to taste


  1. Heat Always Pan to medium-high. 
  2. Prep pork chops by patting them dry with a paper towel to get out excess moisture.
  3. In a bowl, combine a generous amount of salt, pepper, & flour.
  4. Dip each pork chop in the bowl and make sure both sides are fully coated.
  5. Put a good amount of ghee in the pan and wait for it to melt. When it’s super hot, add your pork chops. Cook them 3 - 4 minutes on each side until golden brown.


  1. Heat water to a boil in Always Pan. 
  2. Stir in grits and simmer for over 5 minutes.
  3. Add a generous amount of cheese and pepper — stir, taste, and add more cheese if necessary.


  1. Add water to Always Pan and bring to a simmer.
  2. Add greens to the steamer basket and let sit until they are wilted to your desire.
  3. Transfer greens to a bowl and sprinkle vinegar, red pepper flakes, and lemon juice.

    Patia uses the Always Pan
    in Char

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