25 May 2017

Portland Burrito Shop Put Out of Business


“Cultural Appropriation” has consequences in Portlandia. Fox News:

Just one week after Kooks Burritos in Portland, Ore., was featured in a profile for local publication Willamette Week, the pop-up Mexican food cart has closed down amid accusations that they ripped off their recipes.

Kali Wilgus and Liz “LC” Connelly, the two white women who started Kooks earlier this year, have been accused of stealing their techniques from the “tortilla ladies” of Puerto Nuevo, Mexico — because Connelly told Willamette Week that they gathered their recipes and tortilla-making processes during a holiday road-trip to the Baja California village.

“I picked the brains of every tortilla lady there in the worst broken Spanish ever, and they showed me a little of what they did,” she told the site. “They told us the basic ingredients, and we saw them moving and stretching the dough similar to how pizza makers do before rolling it out with rolling pins.”

In the profile, which first ran May 16, Connelly also claimed that, when the Mexican cooks wouldn’t give up their trade secrets, she and Wilgus “were peeking into the windows of every kitchen, totally fascinated by how easy they made it look.”

Connelly then said she used a trial-and-error process to recreate a tortilla with the same flavor and texture after returning to Portland. She and Wilgus then opened their weekend pop-up inside a taco truck on SE Cesar Estrada Chavez Boulevard, and began serving their Mexican-style tortillas filled with California-inspired ingredients.

Though the eatery had been open for several months, the owners of Kooks were only recently accused of cultural appropriation by The Portland Mercury and Mic.com based on Connelly’s revelations.

“Because of Portland’s underlying racism, the people who rightly own these traditions and cultures that exist are already treated poorly,” The Portland Mercury said, calling the closure of Kooks a “victory.”

The article continues,”These appropriating businesses are erasing and exploiting their already marginalized identities for the purpose of profit and praise.”


4 Feedbacks on "Portland Burrito Shop Put Out of Business"


I’ve never been to Italy, but I”m told that real Italian pizza is nothing like what we eat here. So, does Pizza Hut serve pizza? or something else called “pizza”?

My Mexican brothers-in-law laughed at me when I first described Taco Bell tacos to them 45 years ago. So, does Taco Bell serve tacos? or something else called “tacos”?

I live 20 miles from the birthplace of Cashew Chicken. Is Leong serving
Chinese? or something else called “Chinese”?

I’ve eaten pasties here that were inspired by pasties in Mexico brought to them by English mining engineers from Wales. So, did I eat a real English pasty? or something else called a “pasty”?

So what are these women guilty of? Maybe being peeping Toms. I used to sit with my mother-in-law and pick her brains about food, so when we ran our “Mexican” restaurant, and we used her ideas was that cultural appropriation? I guess not, because my wife is from Mexico and so was my dad. I guess we aren’t white enough to be guilty of anything.

By the way, there isn’t anything better than a Mexican pizza on a flour tortilla topped with Cashew Chicken.



And yet these critics and POC (people of color) wear clothes and shoes and attend our schools. How is that not cultural appropriation? What this is, is racism, mean spirited blatant racism. We should vote with our dollar and support people who are productive and non-racist.

Interestingly when I heard this story my first reaction to it was how brilliant their plan was. They wanted to learn, they wanted to succeed, they went to the source for information they needed and they made it happen. No whining and blaming they simply used their minds and hands to build a business. I wish them well and hope they try again. My only advice to them is to not be so trusting and open.


This is really stupid. Whoever is proud of being a part of destroying their business is a complete idiot! To say the least. Perhaps you should go to Campbells BBQ on Powell blvd. they have Asian people coking BBQ! Oh my goodness that’s a horrible crime. Racism is alive because of people who have nothing better to do than to shut a business down because their white. Liberal mentality is gone stupid.

Steven wilson

I don’t even like burritos but I would have patronized these people just to keep them going. Why didn’t the godd people of Portland do the same. There have to be some..


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