Taste of home

October 26, 2022 Tarah Wolking
Bringing comfort and cultural familiarity to the office through family recipes.

Just hearing the name of a treasured family recipe can transport you back to a moment in time. Maybe it’s a special holiday side or a favorite dinner your family looks forward to having together. It’s something you can almost taste and smell when you think about it and brings you a sense of joy.

That’s the feeling Daisy Ordonez from Schwab’s Organization of Latinxs (SOL) employee resource group wanted to create for her colleagues two years ago when she first teamed up with Chef Mike from the Austin campus to bring some fresh (but familiar) flavors to the café.

Special of the Day: <Your family’s recipe here>

To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, Daisy collected recipes from employees and shared them with Chef Mike who brought them to life every Wednesday during the month.

“This was an opportunity for us to share a piece of our heritage with our colleagues on campus,” explained Daisy. “At the serving station in the café, we included a short story or history of the recipe and members from SOL volunteered to help serve which allowed us to answer questions and meet more of our colleagues.”

Left to right: Chef Mike working in the kitchen with Joseph Delacerda, a member of SOL.

Chef Mike working in the kitchen with a member of SOL

Little did Daisy know that what started as a small gesture to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month would not only become a reoccurring event but would have a much bigger cultural impact at the company. When word spread about the event, more locations wanted to participate and to continue sharing favorite recipes of all kinds.

Food and friendship

Being comfortable at work can make or break a job. As Daisy learned through organizing the partnership with the café, even the smallest gestures can go a long way to show an employer really cares about their people.

“Some people may not have a family recipe to submit, but they still want to contribute,” said Daisy. “People can submit anything—even if it’s just a recipe they came across online but don’t have a family at home to share it with—we want to be able to make them feel included at work.”

Estella Guerrero, another member of SOL said the recipe she chose to share with her colleagues—Calabaza con Pollo—is special to her family.

“The taste brings back fond memories of my mother when she would make it for the family,” shared Estella. “While I do not eat it often, I reserve it for when I’m in need of comfort. When I moved to Austin, I tried to find a restaurant that makes the recipe and couldn’t, so when the opportunity presented itself through SOL and the café, I was overjoyed to share it.”

Estella said she enjoyed working with Chef Mike preparing the ingredients for the dish and was touched to receive many kind emails from colleagues complimenting her recipe.

Want to try Calabaza con Pollo for yourself?