Update: On Thursday, November 3rd, L.A. TACO received a statement from Michelle LeClerc, one of the three petition writers:
“We’d like to begin by thanking LA TACO for covering this story. As the petition writers, Miriam Velez Sanchez, Chiany Dri and I (Michelle Leclerc) never imagined it would receive so much attention. This movement is not anonymous. Every signature in the petition represents a name and a voice. Right now, there are over 1,200 voices asking for change.
Contrary to Sophia Miles, the co-owner of soon-to-be Tres Hermanas Restaurant in Ojai’s statements, we wish her restaurant well and look forward to her thriving business, which is why we designed our requests to be simple to implement before they launched a website or placed signage on their storefront. There’s a misconception that the petition was the only presence online that flagged issues of appropriation. We should point out that influencers on TikTok and Instagram as well as commenters on Instagram had been voicing concern in the days prior to the petition’s conception. Many of the comments on Tres Hermanas Ojai’s instagram were deleted, and the comments that remained disappeared when Tres Hermanas Ojai either archived or removed their Instagram page.
On September 8, we wrote the petition and spent the evening revising it without promotion. On September 9, we promoted and announced the petition, and it immediately began gathering signatures.
The meeting that we had planned for Saturday, Sept 17th with Sophia was designed to give suggestions on how these changes can be implemented with minimal costs in mind by providing suggestions based on our collective branding and DEI expertise. Unfortunately, Sophia canceled the meeting that day based on “outside advice and counsel and members of the community” whom she continues, “have all advised me not to meet with you.” Despite her clear indication that she would not meet with us, she had expressed a desire to meet in the future. Sophia has not requested a meeting since. We assumed she wished to address the petition concerns on her own, but if she wants or requires our assistance, we hope she reaches out. An Instagram DM is best.
Regarding contact, Sophia claims in the LA TACO article Instagram comments that the petition writers have been leaving threatening anonymous voicemails to local businesses. This is untrue. There have been no threats condoned by the authors of the petition, nor will we ever condone harassment. We ask that Sophia refrain from jumping to unfounded conclusions. If there are threats being made, we hope that she seeks assistance from the authorities.
There’s another misconception that this is just about the food, though none of the petition requests mention food. The restaurant’s statements on Instagram referenced concepts from Indigenous culture as part of their restaurant description before they were deleted. The restaurant’s website continues to do the same. It ties the restaurant’s brand story to the Iroquois/Haudenosaunee story and practice of Tres Hermanas or the Three Sisters. The use of indigenous folklore is continued in the restaurant’s name and logo. Finally, the choice to make the name in Spanish is potentially misleading to patrons who seek to support minority-owned businesses.
We hope that the owners of the restaurant, Sophia and her husband, will read the petition and petition comments from members of the local and Indigenous communities to truly understand why the restaurant’s concept continues to draw concern.”
Update: At noon on October 31st, L.A. TACO received a statement on behalf of Tres Hermanas addressing the petition’s accusation, written by the restaurant’s owner, Sophia Miles:
An advisor said to me, “New Mexico’s food and culture is truly special. There’s nothing like it. The mix of Spanish and Mexican and Indigenous heritages are felt in everything that happens here – art, food, business, education, weather, events. It’s why most of us choose to live here. It’s hard to describe. If you have been here and spent time here, you know that it’s hard to put your finger on why it’s so unique.”
There have been misunderstandings of the concept and objective of Tres Hermanas Ojai. I put up an Instagram page, intending to post teasers to get the Ojai community excited for the restaurant, and to follow us along as we build and create this exciting new place. In the few posts on the Instagram, there was very little information about the inspiration behind the restaurant and our story, and I did a disservice to everyone involved by misrepresenting the business, the process, and the people who are integral in making this vision and dream come to life.
I love that New Mexico has its own food sub-culture, influenced by so many different backgrounds, creating one unique cuisine that celebrates the melting pot of these cultures. I believe its emblematic of the country that we could become, one where we celebrate our differences and come together to create something new, unique, and exciting. I am excited and honored to bring our take on this cuisine to Ojai, to introduce our town and those who visit to experience a small piece of New Mexico through our eyes.
Ojai is changing, and it has been changing for a while. The resistance to this change is seen throughout our community daily. We cannot reverse the change that has already happened, but we can do our best to ensure its path is headed in the right direction. Publicly shaming and petitioning against young local business owners and entrepreneurs is not the Ojai I know or the one I grew up in. Hiding behind social media without creating community discourse in a healthy and productive way is not the Ojai I know and grew up in. It is true that everyone has the right to petition, to speak their mind, and to use their voice to address issues that are important to them. But that comes with a responsibility to have all of the facts and all of the information, and even more of a responsibility in a small community to engage with community members first before taking a faceless and unaccountable route.
Today, the people of Ojai cherish the small-town community and energy. In Ojai, there is the general authenticity and comradery of locals and those who move here. Together, we strive to make sure Ojai continues to be a beautiful place, protecting the sacred lands of those who came before us, and a home to many. We can only do this if we work together with compassion, understanding, and humility.
Our website is now live, and there you will find information about Tres Hermanas Ojai: the inspiration, the restaurant, the collaborators, and what it means to us.
As a restaurant owner and entrepreneur, I am deeply inspired by food. Food connects people and brings them
People who have opposing opinions, beliefs, and different views of the world can come together and
find a sense of connection and appreciation at the dinner table.
Originally published on October 27, 2022
A petition is being shared among Ojai residents accusing a soon-to-open New Mexican restaurant of cultural appropriation. “Indigenous and Latinx communities are not an aesthetic. They are historical, ancestral, and targeted. Using ‘New Mexico’ as a mask for appropriative actions, ignores important historical context, further marginalizing Indigenous and Latinx communities,” writes Chiany Dri, the petition’s creator.
“Ojai can do better than this and deserves better than this for ourselves and each other.”
The restaurant at the center of the controversy is Tres Hermanas, a New Mexican restaurant slated to open in Downtown Ojai “this winter,” according to the restaurant’s website. The tipster who notified L.A. TACO also sent a screenshot appearing to show three women alleged to be the restaurant’s owners, taken from Tres Hermanas Ojai’s Instagram account; it is no longer active.
In Susan Scafidi’s 2005 book, Who Owns Culture? Appropriation and Authenticity in American Law, largely considered to be the authoritative source on the subject, the author, attorney, and legal scholar defines cultural appropriation as: “Taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or artifacts from someone else’s culture without permission. This can include unauthorized use of another culture’s dance, dress, music, language, folklore, cuisine, traditional medicine, religious symbols, etc. It’s most likely to be harmful when the source community is a minority group that has been oppressed or exploited in other ways or when the object of appropriation is particularly sensitive, e.g. sacred objects.”
The core issue of appropriation at hand is the term “Three Sisters” in both the restaurant’s logo and concept—in Spanish. The petition reminds us that a term created by native Iroquois and Haudenosaunee people as a story of the three sisters, which is a full-circle growing practice of growing corn, squash, and beans recognized by many indigenous cultures across North America.
Ojai is located about 80 miles away from Los Angeles and is a popular weekend retreat or day trip destination, mostly for its peaceful environment and emerging dining scene. According to the 2021 census, Ojai’s population hovers at 7,500 residents—78% of which are white. New Mexico’s population is roughly ten percent native American, with 23 recognized tribes. Ojai sits on Chumash land, with native peoples inhabiting the land up to 1,000 years before Spanish settlers arrived in 1769 (then known as “Rancho Ojay”)
The petition has just over one thousand signatures and lists five requests to Three Sisters:
—The owner revise their logo and business name to remove elements that are of Indigenous and Latinx significance.
—The owner remove Indigenous storytelling elements from their mission statement and to be reflective of New Mexico and not of the Latinx and Indigenous cultures that preceded it.
—The owner hire or employ a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion consultant (or consultant with a similar and documented skill set) to help implement these critical and foundational changes in support of a meaningful and socially-conscious business ethos.
—The owner commit a percentage of their business earnings to be donated to a local non-profit organization specifically serving Indigenous and/or Latinx communities.
—The business release a statement of apology on their social media and online platforms acknowledging receipt of the petition, apologizing for any and all harm caused to the community, and outlining all changes and commitments being made by the business and its owner/s to address and repair any and all harm caused.
The owners of Three Sisters have allegedly responded to the petition, stating, “We are currently working with and in deep communication with our contacts and vendors in New Mexico. We are engaging with cultural anthropologists and with food culture specialists. We are researching the best and most appropriate non profit organization to make benefactors of our future restaurant. These are exactly and directly what the petition asked, and they are taken very seriously.”
But the petition’s organizers say that isn’t enough and “not what the petition asks.”
A similar incident alleging cultural appropriation by a pop-up took place in Portland, Oregon, in 2017. That situation involved a breakfast burrito pop-up inside a Mexican-owned restaurant named “Kooks” in which the owners—one white and one part Asian—admitted to “stealing” the recipe for their handmade flour tortilla from a tortillera in Baja. Kook’s ended up closing after that controversy.
L.A. TACO sent an email to the restaurant’s contact email requesting comment to find out more but has not heard back. The owners also link Tres Hermanas’s “Sister Restaurant,” Deer Lodge, on the Tres Hermana’s website.
For further reading on the differences between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation, read L.A. TACO’s story on the subject written by Melissa Mora Hidalgo, the trompo’s resident Ph.D. and Fulbright Alum scholar.
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So white people cannot open a Mexican food restaurant, or use a Spanish name.
Cultures constantly borrow from each other. No one owns culture. Cultural appropriation is a silly concept imagining harm where none exists.
Exactly. This also fuels the ultra-rightwing phenomenon taking place right now in this country. A significant part of the US has had a belly full of this, and other ultra-leftwing agendas, getting a lot of publicity in the last decade.
I remember when this all started with the Politically Correct movement when anything ending in “man” had to be changed to something gender-neutral.
A lot of Mexicans are white…. White people speaking Spanish is nothing new. Lol. Americans…..
Wow!! Can I petition to remove/ignore ludicrous, asinine petitions such as this one??? Get a life people!! How dare YOU dictate what recipes, culture, indigenous names, foods, employees, people can or cannot use!!
Oh, and the Spaniards arrived about two hundred years prior to your 1769 date!
You had me till you said Latinx brown people don’t use that word its a white people term. White people trying to put us in box cause there lazy and just don’t care to learn instead they try to make it easier for themselves.
The Chumash were on this land far longer than 1000 years before the Spanish. Try 10,000+
Chipotle, Taco Bell are no different.
If your content is “hyperlocal”, why do you care what goes on in Ojai?
We try not to be Los Angeles.
That is woke bs. Stop making things racial. Everyone can make any food they want and choose themes of there choice. It really doesn’t matter anymore unless you are a racist.
So, to the journalist, author, petitioner, how does the Ojai circumstance share with an Inkand Empire enterprise, from Texas, indicating an American and TexMex flavour with SouthAmerican/Portuguese cuisine *using “de” rather than “do” in its name* —- is this nothing but marketing and capitalism??
…… so this appreciation / appropriation differs from American BarBeQue adjusted under Korean BBQ or the folks that took Sandi Romero’s unprotectected “Mama’s Hot Tamales” – registered, trademarked and then kicked her to the curb ( oh yeah, then threatened to bankrupt her with lawsuits if she tried to use the name again…)
White people trying to make things easier for themselves? You mean like coming to American to take advantage of a coulter with rich economic and freedom’s not seen in your own land. Gtfoh.
“…cultural appropriation as: “Taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or artifacts from someone else’s culture without permission.”
So as biracial Chef with a Mexican gf… I can’t cook our favorite Mexican, Italian, Thai, Japanese, Jamaican, Indian, Korean, etc. dishes?
I should no longer use the Spanish language or cultural expressions to communicate with her?
At one time learning another culture, appreciating it, immersing one self in it was heralded as a good thing.
Now self segregation and ignorant attempts to claim culture are the new norm.
As this attorney who wrote this… which culture am I allowed embrace?
My white Australian mum’s? My black American father”s? The German culture, as I was born there (and lived for over 8 years … twice)?
Which one am I told to “stay in your lane” with? And God forbid my gf and I have child. Which lane should that little on be in?
None. Cause we will share our history, and the amazing history, cultures and food we please.
Really? In a ‘Free Country’ we all have the ‘Right’ to do whatever we see fit for ourselves…
Declaring who owns ‘Cultural This’ and ‘Cultural That’ is complete bullshit…
This is an Obvious Case of Reverse Racism!
If I want to open an Italian Food Truck, drive around Ojai selling Spaghetti from a can, and call it ‘Whops on Wheels’ it’s entirely within my ‘Right’ to do so!
Besides, in this particular instance, Mexico, ‘New’ or ‘Old’ is Extremely Diverse…
Due to ‘Just’ the Spanish and German Conquests of Mexican Territory, Mexico has Appropriated ‘Alot’ of ‘European’ and ‘Latin’ ‘Traditions’ that were ‘Not’ their own!
Are you going to insist that Mexico ‘Not’ play ‘Accordions’ in their Music because it was due to German influence?
Are you going to tell Mexicans that they have to find a different language because it’s based on Spanish or Latin origins?
It sounds ‘Pretty Stupid’ doesn’t it?
Just as Stupid as telling a New Business Owner what they ‘Can’ and ‘Cannot’ do!
Who has the ‘Right’ to impose their views on other people?
Get over it and buy some Tacos from these nice young women!
‘Support’ and ‘Love’ go a ‘Very Long Way’ in building a Community…
This petition is absolutely horrible and wrong. Perfect example of PC run amok. The owners of Tres Hermanas are incredibly hard working people and a valuable asset to the Ojai community. This is another asinine attempt of the liberal left trying to “cancel” good spirited entrepreneurship where good paying jobs are being created. Shame on you. Sincerely yours. I hope Tres Hermanas is wildly successful.
The Petition is biased I think. How is this different than the Taco Bells or Chipotles around the world? I say open the restaurant up :) we need more great food!
This article is an absolute piece of garbage. I agree with dmbeaster in arguing the question, “Are white people not allowed to open Mexican food restaurants?” What’s great about America is that we can all glean ideas from other cultures and share in our cultural history in modern ways. Denying a certain race to make Mexican food is the real crime. I say that LA Taco should keep their flailing accusations in LA and out of Ojai
Oh fuck off. And Latinx is another perv move to remove gender from society.
You know it’s a grift when they demand you pay a DEI consultant and help fund a non-profit. Ojai white people have the right to be cringe. Doesn’t hurt me.
And “Ojai’s Latino community does X” is a weird formulation, like the author is trying to make everyone there look dumb.
Omg how about live and let live! Stop crying discrimination. These girls aren’t trying or intending to harm anyone. What’s happened to this country…..
Omfg. Screw whoever signed the petition, and F**K whoever started it. What is this world coming to. Did yall know the owners of Outback had never been to Australia?
F off ojai.
Honestly, i bet it wasn’t even Hispanics who started the petition.
3 hermanas, i hope you read this and know you did NOTHING wrong. The world is wrong.
Because what goes on anywhere sets a precedent that others will cite to further their agenda.
The elephant in the room is who is taking offense to this? Is it the Latino’s objecting to this or is it some other demographic with a hidden agenda?
The Latino’s I know could care less what you’re calling your shop.
Do you people really have nothing better to do than look for ways to be offended? Take it as a compliment that a small business owner cherishes the culture and wants to share it with the rest of us. LA TACO, is this the most newsworthy story you could come up with?
Oh wow. I am a latina and granddaughter of immigrant grandparents from Mexico. You are all ridiculous. Turning a positive thing into a negative thing. Another way to indirectly segregate and discriminate by putting down their business concept. California loves to destroy family owned businesses which thousands were minority owned, by the way. Whoever petitioned is full of insecurities and issues.
Pack that B.S. away how pathetic cry when someone says something or makes a restaurant feel out your hurt feelings report and send it to who cares!!!! Bunch of cry sackers. So tired of this crap it’s time people stand up and start calling this behavior out and not letting it go unchecked.
You go WOKE, you go BROKE!
This article seeks solely to divide. You can only do “white” things. This person can only do “black” things. This person can only do “pick a color” things. Is this the world we want to live in? One that promotes segregation masquerading as “protecting” culture? Stoking hatred in the name of love? It’s disgusting. Fortunately all hispanic people I know don’t subscribe to this BS
Hermanas, this is a bad way to run a business. You need to establish yourself and begin making money before you waste it on consultants and charities. You’ll be out of business within a year listening to rabid woke animals.
I could care less about who owns the restaurant, the real question is whether or not its good food. I can’t stand Taco Bell or Chipotle BUT!! Oddly enough I don’t hear any outcry about those places. Get over it people, there are far more important things to fight about. Like James Franco playing Fidel Castro instead of John Leguizamo Wait a minute didn’t John leguzimo play an Italian plumber in Mario brothers the movie. Oops never mind.
Fake outrage is fake.
Did the writer / petition starter run out of real problems to be outraged about or what?
I’m 100% Mexican first generation immigrant, and to see that 3 young girls are on pursuit of their dream with a business’s concept on Mexican-hispanic food it’s just inspiring, it’s something to make my culture proud, proud of our flavors, our coussine our language, etc. I do not feel offended at all. I feel more offended when they mention or try to label us with the term LatinX , that is just ignorance or can be just an opportunity of some people to segregate the community for their own gain. So if I want to open a Hamburger or BBQ business even do I’m Mexican I should have the right to do it right? Bytheway cultural gastronomy is not inclusive and is always adapting, the same way Mexicans we adopt the “Tacos al pastor” from the Lebanese immigrants. TRES HERMANAS : I wish you the best on you new journey. Miguel.
Nice place that could use another Mexican restaurant. Good luck and
Dont mind the nut jobs.
How come nobody writes about that overpriced tea place in Ojai that appropriates stuff left and right? Magic something? The woman who owns it is as white as they come but she takes and mixes Chinese and Indian culture with some new age bs and nobody bats an eye!!
Instead of calling the restaurant “Tres Hermanas” why don’t they just authentically represent who they are and call it “Three Sisters From New Mexico”? No one would have a problem with that.
People do like to know about what relationship the owners have with the food they are selling. Are they also food chefs themselves or just owners? Are they using original or traditional recipes? Who actually does the cooking? If they want good press these basic questions would be revealed in any typical restaurant review anyway.
I have nothing to add, because the existing comments speak for me. They all pretty much sum up what I think and feel about this ludicrous article and even more ludicrous petition! Im so proud of all the people that have commented on this situation. The only thing that I can add is that all of this identity politics is creating division. If their intention is to create unity, they are failing miserably! I hope las tres hermanas hueritas are able to stay strong and get their business going. God bless them!
More liberal BS. This is a free country! Just how does naming arestaurant “three sisters” hurt or harm anyone? I am half Assiniboine Indian, and I love tacos! I will be one of the first customers. DO NOT misuse your so called power.
New Mexico is in the USA hence it’s American food. I have people in N.M. and they will tell you it’s not Mexican food. Try a sopapilla it’s like fry bread. All food is fusion at this point. Get over it, pasta came from Asia.
Knock it off already with pulling a bs racecard. If they want to open a Mexican restaurant let them. Everyone wants to cry about something these days. Someone losing their restaurant over a tortilla recipe, tortillas are flour, baking powder, fat, salt and water. It’s not top secret. I’m a chef and have been for many years and I’m Mexican. Latinos need to stop trying to follow what another race is doing. If someone wants to embrace our food and culture. LET THEM!! worry about your own goals in life. Be unique, life is too short to be worried about what someone else is doing. All this is going to do is ruin someone else’s dream. All these news articles and news stations do is turn people against each other. It’s not news it’s gossip
I am a Latino foodie tha loves good food. I could care less who makes it or if cuisine was made by a person who was of the culture which the food was representing. My grandparents were born in Mexico. My mother was born in New Mexico and my father here in California. I’m not offended by those young entrepreneurs starting a business. They have the right to name it whatever they want. After all, isn’t this country the melting pot? There is enough division in this country without trying to segregate food.The person who started the petition needs to get over it. Let’s break bread and move on.
Learning about & appreciating other cultures, including their cuisines, is a good thing. A very good thing. Somebody needs to lighten up here.
I am liberal, leftwing, woke, life long New Mexico resident and native. I am more offended by being lumped in as a Latino when I am a Hispanic. As for the response to this article, I am more offended by the disgusting proliferation of cumin in my New Mexican cuisine much more than what these lovely ladies are endeavoring to accomplish. Ojai LatinX losers need to fucking get over themselves.
This article is terrible. These women are amazing and kind. I honestly feel like there are people who just tend to look for things to complain about and this controversy is horseshit. My family is mixed Mexican Swedish and plenty of other things. We’re excited for this new venture in our area. This place is gonna blow up and it’s gonna feel great because it will show how we are all apart of one big community who wants to see each other be successful. Let’s go!!
I cant wait to give tres hermanas my buisness, as i am a local i will spread the word and do everything in my power to help them succeed! Thank you for bringing the opening of this restuarant to my attention!
I want a white trash restaurant! Wait….what do white trash eat? All I can think of is Domino’s and macaroni and cheese in a box with hot dogs, before the rise in prices. Biscuits and gravy… Is white rice and brown gravy Latin X? I’m so confused!
By that logic, Mexican people should never brew beer (Sumerians), play the violin (Italy), play baseball (USA), or ever cook anything other than Mexican food, got it? Should all of Mexico and Mexicans apologize and pay reparations to Germany for “Mexican style Lager”? Eff off LA Taco and coward virtue signaling petitioners. I am going to be a patron of Tres Hermanas.
“New Mexican cuisine” refers to the cuisine of the Hispano community (especially the city of Santa Fe), a unique community of Spanish speaking persons living in the northern Rio Grande Valley who are distinct from the indigenous community of the state. I read the mission statement of the restaurant, they do acknowledge the indigenous components that consist of New Mexico cuisine.
New Mexico cuisine is a form of Mexican regional cuisine known for its flat enchiladas (unrolled). This is not TexMex or Cali-Mex cuisine. Unlike California, where the Californios were known to eat pozole, atole, and sopes, the Californio culture and cuisine “died out” to be replaced by Mexican migrants after 1848. Most of California’s Mexican cuisine reflects the cultures of Western and Northern Mexico and Oaxaca, today.
Chiany Dri, if she’s ever been to New Mexico would know this. The state has a unique culinary history which is a blending of cultures: Iberian, mestizo, and indigenous. As someone of Mexican ancestry, who gives “permission” to non-Mexicans or non-Indigenous peoples to use recipes inspired by my culture? How many restaurants, half go under in 2 years, hire a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion consultant?! And why is the originator of the petition using Latinx? The majority of our community rejects the term.
Your article brought to mind the restaurant in LA Canada (Flintridge),CA.which is”which owned”& named “Los Gringos Locos”. Some have interpreted that to mean that the white owners are crazy because they’re selling Mexican food. Others say that it means the white owners ARE crazy and THAT’S WHY they’re selling Mexican food.
L.A. TACO,re:>interpretations “The beat goes on”. It seems that…you’ve A LOT of work cut out for you.
Okay L.A. TACO if you are going to argue about Cultural Appropriation
why not start with all of the current major restaurants in the Nation?
There are many restaurants in this Nation that use fusions of Cultural dishes to flavor the meals they serve and using the appropriate descriptions of those fusions while the owner isn’t even of either Culture.
If it really is about Cultural Appropriation why bring the “Race Card” into play we are all a mix of races.
Doesn’t the Spanish language come from Spain, which is in Europe and who’s people are considered white? So why can’t 3 white looking women (because blond hair and white skin doesn’t tell me their race or culture) use a Spanish term for their restuarant? It’s already been established that many different cultures use the Spanish language. Or maybe they should all stop using Spanish and use their original language because they are all appropriating the language of Spain and it’s people. SMH
This is an evil spirited movement and a
Disgusting attack on well meaning women by a lunatic fringe —desperate to initiate some desperate cause to bring attention to themselves!!! Are they trying to bring down a business trying to create something good with their own original idea?
Attacking Ojai because it’s a small city vulnerable to issues like this because these lunatics don’t dare take on Established Mexican or Latin or Native named businesses in big cities – This is a crime against our ‘boiling pot’ blend is American culture! Individual fringes trying to divide and separate us with their cancel culture! Outrageous attack on a new business – !! STOP THIS NOW ! Get out of Ojai with your ugly petition — ! We need to welcome other cultures not separate and divide them !
These responses reflect a lack of understanding of cultural appropriation. Missing the point of the article reflects a lack of reading comprehension, preferring biases and disrespect. Ultimately, education is necessary to counter these misguided ideologies by novice entrepreneurs and their affronted supporters.
Where can I sign? I’m sick and tired of white people trying to make everything theirs!
You got no culture so you take someone else’s?
I’m sick of the right wing pendejos!
Interesting that the author of the article didn’t like… google the petition creator’s name to find out more about them and then share that in the article.
Chianry is a professional “anti-racism” consultant. She also lives in LA now, not Ojai or Ventura county (her website says she moved back to LA in 2021) so this isn’t a local initiative nor is it something that an average person felt outrage over. She sells pamphlets and does training on her subject. This feels kind of like a publicity stunt for her business.
Also, I’m sure if the owners decide to bring in a sensitivity expert she’ll be right there to offer her services and her invoice.
Normally I’m okay with encouragement to offer respect to different cultures but this scenario feels a little manufactured to me.
Omg please find something to nit pick. You are ridiculous. Girls open up here in Oxnard.
This is what communism looks like people. This PHD commie wants the govt to get involved.
Real Mexicans use “Latinx” I’m sure
I thought in usa we were a free country, people, and speech. Obviously if your white it does not apply to you. What a racist usa we have become? Why is it that ANYTHING white has became an issue, ever since Obama started his race war our America has turned to crap. People vandalizing stores for whatever reason. People are mean and violent. I guess we as a people raised a bunch of bad children who feel entitled when they haven’t done crap for any such entitlements. May God Bless the next generation as this one sucks. A person should be able to name their restaurant anything they choose. But I do get how new mexico is extremely racist against all races except Hispanic. I was treated like crap the entire time I worked their as I was a white person with a Hispanic sur name. New Mexico destroys anything good for anyone. Tbh the worst state to live in, and the public school system sucks have to find a good charter school.
It’s not that they can’t make dishes from other people’s cultures or speak their language etc. , but the fact that they just take it. They make profit out of it and “modernize” the dish…
So Latinx people who own American burger restaurants should be forced out as well?
I am glad they somebody is keeping New Mexican cuisine alive. All the New Mexican restaurants in Santa Fe and Albuquerque are being replaced with Mexican food. I don’t care who makes it as long as it’s good!
In a land where indigenous genocide and ethnocide occurred. It shouldn’t be easy for Europeans to start up business stealing cultures on land that they are settling in. Go back to Europe and learn your own traditions
I’m pretty Liberal but this is just caca
A new satire news organization!? You almost had me feeling guilty for making tacos for dinner. Food is meant to unite people around a table, not cause division. This article should be published by The Onion. And, if this is satire….you have a long way to go to catch up to other satire news orgs.
Did you by chance do your journalistic duty and interview the owner? If you had, you’d know she herself has indigenous heritage. I advise you to do proper research and understand what culture is being represented here and which is being steam rolled by a poorly informed instagramer. Its easy to judge someone by how they present themselves to the world, however current society is directing you to ask more questions and assume less. Your poor eithics are evident in this article.
Lol. “White” culture has been a adopted by more people around the world than any other. It is so ubiquitous that you don’t even realize it is culture, hence thinking that whites have no culture. You’re living in it, immersed in it 24/7. lol
Says the guy who knows nothing but to cry sack. People of all races are tired of this woke B.S. and it won’t go unchecked anymore, so get your tissue and try to make up some more B.S. or did white peoples steal that from you too. Idiot
ENOUGH ALREADY!!! Who cares if white people are making Mexican food? All anyone should be worried about is if it’s any good. I can name 3 places owned by Latinos that make Italian food in L.A. and no one is upin arms about them. What are these woke people going to complain about next. The Korean food truck owner that’s making bulgogi tacos? The average Latino is too busy to give a crap about stuff like this.9 out of 10 times when you run into a story like this it’s usually some overzealous woke white Leftist who wants to be the “white knight” for us minoraties. Let the ladies go about thier business and if thier tacos stink, then make an issue of it. I don’t see anyone going aft we r taco bell.
Why give coverage to these evil “woke” racists. The term “cultural appropriation” should be in quote marks to show its a meaningless slur.
Interesting how the only racist people to be found in these comments and in life, are “woke” non-whites like “Alfred” and “john lopez” using “right wing” to try and cover their own racist statements and bigoted petitions
So you want me to be quick, get your own culture. Just call your restaurant ‘Three Sisters’and change your food to what you 3 sisters can cook. Be original, and that will be your culture. If I had to get into what happened to people of color, this would get bad very fast.
White people think they can do anything and everything better and profit from it. They act like they did it on their own- nope, they just ripped off another person’s culture and hyped it.
Everyone here should look up the author of the petition. She’s (you guessed it) and D&I consultant and the language in her petition is the exact same language on her website. Sounds a little bit like extortion, doesn’t it?
Glad I jumped ship as a Democrat – they have become cannibals and are beginning to eat their own. Absolutely abhorrent behavior trying to shut down hard working Americans. Piss off with that LatinX garbage. I AM LATINO.
When did everybody get so thin skinned? Tell these young ladies to call their restaurant anything they want. “3 beaners” sounds good to me.
all the left wing shitheads MYOFB
These tres hermanas, why don’t they cook up and serve food from thier culture? Be unique, be original. Riding the coat tails of other cultures is getting old, let me guess will they make and serve spa water? or make ceviche seafood salad? BET THAT THE COOKS WILL BE 100% MEXICANS or paisas as we call them in the hood.Obviously they will do what they want because they are white and supreme. But far from original.
I’m just happy these owners are getting a bunch of love and free PR thanks to all this. I’ll be buying food there next time I visit. And if it’s any good, I’ll be a repeat customer, too! Me gusta tres hermanas!
Ladies, why are you caving to this nonsense? Since the petitioner is in fact a diversity consultant, I certainly hope that you didn’t hire her. You all should not do any of the things demanded in the petition, just open the place with the best food you can. I don’t think you’ll have any problem finding Ojai customers. The petition creator, and likely most of those who signed it, aren’t in Ojai anyway. This is a lot like the corporate extortion that BLM pulled on businesses all across the country. Don’t give in to extortionists.
Culture appropriation is in the eye of the beholder, or mind of the beholder. In these days of social media it seems that we’ve become too lazy to research the facts and put our own spin on everything. I see this as culture appreciation. The facts came out about the tortilla recipe being stolen. That’s a different story. But this also has been happening for years. Remember the McDonalds story? Should the Italians start a petition because of an Asian owned pizzeria? Or the Japanese because of Korean owned sushi bars? I know sushi chefs of latino heritage. Should we call them out? They’re not Japanese? Why are they wearing those chef uniforms? They’re not Japanese??? We become a culture of haters. What happen to live and let live?
The people who started this petition should not be given any attention as their demands are ridiculous and they have no right to stop people with good intentions from opening a business. They do not represent all Latinos or indigenous people. It seems like they’re only interested in shaming those ladies who should not be afraid of them. People who do these sorts of things do not contribute to a well formed society.
I am German and I protest the this crap cake sold in the USA as German Chocolate Cake with coconut. There is no such thing in Germany. Think about this, Gewurztraminer grape, German name mostly grown in France, comes from Italy.
First, if you’re a truly Latin, you would never use the term Latinx. Second, if they need cultural permission to run their restaurant how they want, as a Latina I grant them full rights to their pursuit of happiness and profits! Let them live their American dream, it’s why we’re all here! Third, enough with the woke bs. There are bigger issues to dedicate time and energy to.
Get a job, fools. Nobody cares what you think.
This is the first article I found on LA Taco. This will also be the last. The world needs more love and less hate.
This is so moronic. Being offended over something that has nothing to do with you personally is ridiculous. Don’t eat there if you don’t like it but really no one else cares what you are offended about so stay home and find another cause.
I am Mexican born & raised. I’ve bought food from several So called Mex. restaurants. Many Are horrible, so to anyone who can cook good Mexican food, congratulations. The best place I got Mex. Food was a tiny place in Denver Colorado. In Berlin GR the only Mex. Rest. was owned by a Peruvian family & the food was very good. Complaining is easy let’s try to be reasonable. There R many people out there who R knowledge.
Call it “Las tres Hermanas Gringas”. No problem then.
I wanted to say something hateful about this article but on second thought this fire doesn’t need any more fuel. Some people will always hate whites cuz we dominated most of the globe. Sorry, be better
As a Mexican born ( indigenous, Purepecha to be exact ) , U.S. raised individual this is beyond ridiculous, these girls need nobody’s permission to create delicious food that’s “ Inspired” by many cultures/ sub cultures as they stated ; on the contrary people like these girls make me proud that they have found inspiration in rich cultures such as my own , it’s an honor in fact . And stop calling yourselves “Latinx “ that just sounds weird, as it is Latino doesn’t sit well with me either as it pertains to the word/language Latin which came from Europe. I give these girls my full support and hope their business thrives and these entitled individuals go find something productive to do with their lives .
People like this make everything worse. The actual racists.
Ridiculous. What’s the world coming to?
What happened to reading comprehension in this country? Do people actually read the articles online or do they just pop off based on their gut reaction to a headline?
I do think this controversy is silly but clearly it hits a nerve with so many people sharing and discussing this article, and the article does an OK job of simply laying out the facts– but then the comments are all attacking the article and its author? Do you want things to just be swept under the rug? If you have an issue with the petition, take it up with them.
As a Mexican-American, I am embarrassed by this. Who cares what nationality or race you are! As long as the Tacos are good and the beer is cold!
I hate the word Latinx. Talk about stereotypes. I know of Mexicans that open Chinese food restaurants in Mexico and I don’t hear anyone complaining. I love when any nationality embraces our beautiful culture. Let “Tres Hermanas” have their glory. I would love to visit and enjoy their food. My Aunt is from Taos and I am sure she love having New Mexico food shown off in all their glory😍
Heritage, history and training are all defining parts of someone’s cooking identity. My heritage is German and Italian.
My cooking life started in Minnesota, learning to cook German, Italian and Scandinavian cuisines. Then, on moving to New Mexico, I learned to cook Mexican, New Mexican and TexMex cuisines.
Thailand was my next home location. I stayed in Northeastern Thailand, and got to enjoy and learn to cook Thai, Laotian and Vietnamese cuisine. On my return to the USA, I landed in Arizona, where I learned to cook kosher. After Arizona,I moved to California and got my kicks learning vegetarian and vegan cuisine.
Between technique and spices, it is rare for me to create an appetizer, entree or dessert that does not have some sort of cross-cultural fusion. As I see Tres Hermanas, if they are guilty of cultural appropriation based on the name and image of their restaurant, they will not survive.
Tempest in a teapot seems to fit this example. Let the market determine if what these folks did was wrong.
This “petition” is an absolute joke. I’m Hispanic, AND an AMERICAN. Reverse racism is not what our country is built on, nor should it be adopted. We are a melting pot and the more this kind of bigotry continues, the more we are encouraging the ignorance of a few. All they are trying to do is open a restaurant and be entrepreneurs, nothing more, nothing less. Stop the hate!
Chianry dri is a fascist.
Do you have a reading comprehension problem? Journalistic ethics are clearly not a thing. They aren’t anywhere near Ojai. They didn’t ask anything about the owners, ethnicities, background, ex. Every person demonizing them is outside this area code. So…why. A tiny local restaurant attacked by people no where near this local. By their own definition these people will/SHOULD be offended anytime they go eat sushi or Chinese. Food is meant to bring people together. People are crossing a line.
The term LatinX offends me. If these people have good food who cares, I find it a sign of respect that these young ladies appreciate the culture. We live in a free country united under one flag under God, let them be.
‘Taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or artifacts from someone else’s culture without permission.’
Just WHO are the self appointed representatives of an entire culture, that anyone should ask their permission?
It’s too bad hard working people who want to open a restaurant need to put up with this ultra woke ass nonsense.
Of course, not to offend these exact people who are potentially customers also,a polite letter is offered instead.
Some of the whining woke, you will never be able to satisfy.
Jump through one hoop for them and there will be endless demands.
Misery loves company.
Wow. Alot of comments. Anyone can make any business inspired by anything. You want to take offense? Open a business of your own. Just don’t dare put one item of another cultures on your menu. Not one article of anything produced by any other land, for sale.
This is a joke. Tres Hermanas, go open your business in any other state. Best wishes anyone that has a problem with these ladies making good food they love and are proud to promote to the public … You got an issue with that??!!! You’re small, envious and well, go open your own restaurant”.
As for any disdain for white people, lol. Stop being so threatened.Its getting tired and so small.
A lot of Mexicans are white too. This is just funny and ridiculous.
This is a dumb petition. Let them offer their services. It doesn’t hurt anyone, if anything it’s cultural appreciation! Sincerely, A brown man.
My mom immigrated from Central America in the 60s and saw prejudice and social bias as a result of marrying my dad…from both hers and his communities. Her attitude was that this whole “cultural appropriations” idea was a complete load of garbage and anyone ascribing to it is a spoiled child with entitlement issues. It’s especially disappointing coming from the Latin community where we traditionally value a good work ethic and sharing our culture. Maybe this Latino brat can stop driving cars, since that’s not a Hispanic invention or quit using her smartphone. America’s a melting pot. If you’re all about drawing cultural boundaries, maybe you should move to a less diverse country
Welcome to Los Angeles California Folks.. Where all this PC, Woke, Gender Bender crap starts then spreads across the country like a Plague.. Porn Capital if the World and Temple of Leftism.. The Modern Day Sodom and Gomorrah right here.. First place on the planet that’s gonna get shook to the ground and washed out to sea when the rapture comes..
As a Mexican American with Latino roots from Puerto Rico, I am highly offended that this person would petition against 3 individuals willing to invest their time and money into opening A taco business in Ojai or anywhere for that matter. As indicated with the previous comments above, Who gives that petitionerthe right to suggest that these 3 white women white women referred to as the 3 hermanas Are perverting Native American & Mexican culture? give me a break. I suppose Taco Bell had Del Taco and every other company that sells tacos has passed their cultural appropriation criteria? Really? The root issue her is that Petitioner is a racists and can’t stand the idea that three white women want to get into the taco business. Get a life. There can never be enough taco businesses in Southern California, that’s what gives us culture and our idenity. Let the community decide whether they want to spend their money based on choice not by throwing around your fancy cultural appropriateness bull onto everyone!
I am heartened by the uniformly negative response here to the allegations against the restaurant. I’m a white guy. Is it okay if I EAT Mexican food? Or cook it? Or use a Spanish-language expression? I encourage the restaurant’s owner to (politely) tell the petitioners to drop their objections and devote themselves to some of our nation’s real problems instead of imagined ones.
This is silly…these entrepreneurs are cleverly trying to honor chumash heritage and blend (as it seems) cultures and cuisines. These petitioners could offer their consulting expertise pro bono to a company that doesn’t even have their doors open yet if they are that concerned.
I’ve got an idea..for a new taco joint called “Politaco” it’s two-sided and gets soggy when covered in too much b.s just like everything else
I would like the person behind the petition to provide evidence to their claims of damage. Prove that these women destroyed or damaged anything. I’m so sick of “woke”
Californians and their asinine ideas. Get a life, stop being so offended by everything. RIDICULOUS
So basically if you want to open a restaurant you better serve food from your own culture or else it is wrong? That’s why this appears to be saying. So all the restaurants that serve traditional American food that are owned by non white people are in the wrong? This is so stupid. Just because they’re white they can’t open a New Mexico style restaurant. I have family that have lived in New Mexico for decades and they eat traditional New Mexican food all the time and make it themselves and it’s very good and they stick to the recipes. To me if somebody wants to open a restaurant and serve food of a certain culture, then they should be allowed to if anything that is respecting other cultures saying hey we love your food or whatnot and we would like to show other people how great your food is. Especially if it’s not really available in the area and people always wondered what it taste like. Now granite as long as you’re selling it as whatever cultural food you claim it to be then you need to stick to recipes that make it authentic. But that should be for any restaurants whether it’s barbecue Mexican food Italian food French food. I mean to be honest most American food is not truly American food it was just other food changed and made more bland and simple and most food from other countries are better anyways.
Looks like I need to make a trip to Ojai just to eat some tacos. Nobody does tacos like San Diego btw…Not even LA. You can try and get all fancy. Make some weird guaca salsa or some chipotle whatever, serve it in a food truck, and charge $10 bucks for a mini taco…But nothing beats a greasy shop in the shape of a barrel or an old Weiner Schnitzel hut with “bertos” at the end of the name and just the watery red and green salsa…oh yeah and the pickled jalapenos with carrots.
“Jealousy’s and Mother f’er…you weak jealous mother f’er”-someone
This is just anti white racism, that’s all. White people aren’t allowed to make and sell taco’s? Ha! These ladies are way too kind because it’d be a cold day in hades before I let anyone tell me what I can do or start dictating to me how I was to specifically bow down and kiss their you know what! Since when can they hijack the words 3 sisters and claim it as theirs? Tres hermanas isn’t even Iroquois! It’s Spanish! Indians in the south west weren’t even planting beans and squash. Now we white people aren’t even allowed to use the words three sisters? What if I wanna open up a restaurant with my two sisters? That means I’m forbidden to call it Three sisters lest I offend some group of perpetually offended racists? That’ll be the day I bow down to haters. My husband is Mexican and Im Italian. My family has an Italian sub shop/pizzeria and now my Mexican husband and I own it. My Mexican husband is about to open another pizzeria making pizzas and subs. There are as many Mexican run pizzerias as Italian one in Jersey so should I cry cultural appropriation? Should I make a stink about it and ban my husband from making Italian pizzas and hoagies? Let me call the Indians in Ojai and ask!
White people massacred the indigenous people of the land and caused massive suffering because of their imperialistic nature to take what was never theirs. 200 years later you have this type of shit where white people take culture that they themselves tried to eradicate, and now put their name on it with restaurants for profit when the real culture was suppressed. White people didn’t like the indigenous people, clearly. Why don’t these young women use their own culture since it’s apparently superior, and not the culture of the indigenous people that these women’s ancestors massacred and pushed of their land. It feels wrong, and you would know if you were affected. People in this country selectively forget the past, how convenient.
As a second generation American whose father was born in Italy, should I sue “Olive Garden” for cultural appropriation? They sure don’t cook authentic Italian food.
If English speaking American are allowed to use Spanish what’s next. Some day little boys will be insisting they be called a little girl.
Too bad Ojai is so far, I’d love to give Tres Hermanas a try. Gatekeeping food is idiotic. If the food is bad, they’ll go out of business. If it’s good, step your game up if you want to compete with them. After the LA City Council exposure, people are waking up to the ‘RAZA RACISTS’ infesting Southern California.
Wow. So much OUTRAGE! So many things in ALL CAPS! People dragging out the fainting couches, can I not even eat MEXICAN FOOD anymore? (Spoilers: You can). According to the comments, this is:
– Part of an ‘Obama started Race War’
– A ‘perv move to remove gender from society’ Somehow.
– Something half the country should MYOFB about (but not the other half, I guess)
– Reverse Rascism
– Something something the Rapture
– Communist and also somehow
– And a little bit of trans-phobia just to round things out.
So many Strawmen! Sorry…strawpeople.
Whew. I’m an old white guy. The closest I’ll come to feeling the pain of cultural appropriation is watching Paul Hollywood make S’mores on the Great British Bake off. Ganache, on S’mores? Really?
I would be interested to know what was on the Instagram posts that were taken down. Without that context it’s hard to understand what the petitioners were reacting to.
It would be great if the petitioners and the owners could have a civil conversation. Or, really, any of us.
Final note, if you’re someone who throws around the words Communism and/or Fascism a lot in your online posts, maybe do a quick search on those terms. Those words…I do not think they mean what you think they mean.
Its a shame LA Taco promotes and amplifies stuff like this petition, there is some good reporting and I would otherwise be a member.
When I see the name Three Hermanas as the name of a restaurant, my first thought is that the founders are Hispanic and that there must be a unique story behind their founding. The reason is because a lot of Spanish-titled restaurants are family owned and operated for multiple generations – like, Garcia’s in Phoenix, Arizona, La Posta in New Mexico, etc .. In this way, it is almost like throwing on a poncho, a fake mustache, and a sombrero for Halloween (cultural appropriation).
On the other hand, when selling New Mexican cuisine, a Spanish name is staying true to the region’s authentic and unique flavors (green/red chile) – an English name would not work well and might even be viewed as more colonialism. After reading the website, they do pay tribute to the culture, food, and historical significance of the region. They do not claim it as their own, though they are selling it. (is this any better?)
Someone mentioned Chipotle and Taco Bell – the difference is that these corporations do not use authentic culture and history as a selling point; they just package it up, slap a label on it, and out it goes. The one-time Taco Bell tried to acknowledge culture; they thought it would best be represented with a talking Chihuahua wearing a sombrero saying, “Yo Quiero Taco Bell”.
Incorporating any type of culture (unless one’s own) with product/service is bound to run into criticism. But…that’s marketing. And behind marketing are exaggerations, outright lies, deceit and so on.
All that said, after looking at this issue, if they can make authentic New Mexican cuisine, well make it, sell it and eat it. I do not think there is anything nefarious going on here; if anything, it seems more like another fusion, and the name Three Hermanas describes them – they are not claiming a family name like Garcia, Sanchez, etc . . .
Wow. The people have spoken LATaco
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