Cooking is the way I communicate with the world.
Chef Annette "Nettie" Colón
A Minneapolis transplant by way of NY and Puerto Rico, Chef Nettie Colón spent her early years living a reverse West Side Story.
Born in New York City and raised in Puerto Rico, Nettie Colón spent her formative years learning traditional cooking methods of the island with her grandmother Maria Brigida Llanes de Jesus and her friends. For all 48 grandchildren on her mother’s side, time spent on her grandmother’s farm in the remote central mountain town of Utuado offered an idyllic childhood. She got the love of cooking from her Abuela and to this day that influence is very much alive in every dish that she prepares.
Her love of traveling comes from the time spent hopping around the island to eat with her family. Chef Nettie's father is from Cayey, where the sector of Guavate aka "The Pork Highway" is located. That is how she came to realize that people do travel for food, especially in Puerto Rico. This passion of traveling for food has led her to work all over the United States & abroad, with culinary adventures to West Indies, Wales, Spain, France, Sardinia, Southern Italy, Yucatan Peninsula, Costa Rica & Panama. She also taught the history of Mayan cuisine in the Biosphere Reserve of Sia’an Ka’an in Tulum, Yucatan for 9 years where she fell in love with traditional Mayan cooking methods including Pibil, which lead to exploration of underground techniques from around the world such as Pachamanca, Curanto, Hangi and others.
She is Chef/Owner of The Red Hen Gastrolab which is committed to the preservation of the relationships built around food traditions in the kitchen and at the table. She is also Resident Chef at The Break Room Minneapolis at The Historic Machine Shop, a James Beard Foundation Chefs Boot Camp Alumni, BA Craftmade Aprons “Project Black & Blue” Advocate, Market Chef @ Mill City Farmers Market. She is also a Board Member of the Northern Clay Center of Minnesota.