Tucocina and Denise Portillo

Sometimes match making is very easy.

New York-based Tucocina makes Latin-oriented kitchenware; things like Aluminium Plantain Presses and Quick Tortilla Stove Top Grills, along with pots and pans.

TUCOCINA has achieved steady growth–in the double digits in 2009 and 2010–gaining market share and brand recognition as the only housewares brand exclusively focused on addressing the needs of U.S. Hispanic consumers. As a premier source of specialty Hispanic kitchenware, TUCOCINA’s 350 products of calderos, griddles, pots and pans and specialty kitchenware accessories are available at over 600 hundred retailers.

Naturally, the company markets the kitchenware to Hispanic families to make Latin cuisine. They wanted to reach a bigger market, so they teamed up with a Latin chef, Denise Portillo, who would appeal to their demographic – a demographic that wants to eat better, healthier, and nutritional meals. The company gets to use Chef Portillo’s media reach through her Il Bella Café and Il Bella Events catering company.

But why choose her among all the different Latin chefs out there?

First, she wants to expand Il Bella Café across Los Angeles, which means she is seeking out opportunities to promote her businesses. Piggy baking on her media needs makes sense for Tucocina.

Second, she promotes “Latin Lite”, the same kind of healthy, local, organic cooking that Tucocina promotes. Chef Portillo will develop delicious, healthy and affordable recipes, write a column and conduct demonstrations for TUCOCINA’s initiative.

“The program is near and dear to our hearts at TUCOCINA because studies point out that Hispanic children are at higher risk of becoming overweight and suffering from obesity-related conditions due, in part, to a lack of healthy food alternatives” said TUCOCINA’s president and founder, Rafael Rodas. “Chef Portillo is a perfect match for TUCOCINA and this program. Her fresh and simple approach to cooking, passion for authenticity, and close relationship with local farmers and purveyors is exactly what we were looking for in a chef partner. With Chef Portillo’s help, we plan on spreading the program coast-to-coast.”

The only glitch in this cross-country romance is that Denise is in LA and Tucocina is in New York. But, it seems like she is willing to travel, and Tucocina is mobile, too.

If only all relationships were so easy.

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