Member Spotlight: Frances Roman of Cocotazo Catering LLC

Greetings Foodies!

We are thrilled to shine a spotlight on Chef Frances Roman, a talented member of e.terra Kitchen and the creative force behind Cocotazo LLC.

With a deep passion for her Puerto Rican heritage and a culinary inspiration passed down from her mother and grandmother, Chef Frances brings authentic Puerto Rican flavors to life like no other. At Cocotazo LLC, Chef Frances crafts mouthwatering dishes that pay homage to her roots. Through her expert culinary skills and dedication to using traditional ingredients, she creates a truly immersive dining experience that transports you straight to the vibrant streets of Puerto Rico.

Being a member of e.terra Kitchen has provided Chef Frances with the perfect platform to showcase her culinary prowess. This shared commercial kitchen space has allowed her to collaborate with fellow chefs, exchange ideas, and further hone her craft. The supportive community at e.terra Kitchen has been instrumental in Chef Frances’ journey, allowing her to grow both personally and professionally.

Chef Frances’ cooking is deeply rooted in tradition, yet she fearlessly infuses her own unique flair into each dish she creates. Her mother and grandmother continue to be her guiding lights, inspiring her to explore new flavors and push culinary boundaries. Through her food, Chef Frances pays tribute to her family’s legacy while adding her own modern twist.

We applaud Chef Frances Roman for her unwavering commitment to preserving Puerto Rican culinary traditions and for sharing her remarkable talent with the world. Her culinary journey is a testament to the power of food to connect generations and cultures, and we are honored to have her as a valued member of e.terra Kitchen.

During a sit down with Chef Frances, we asked her the following questions:

1. How long have you been a member of e.terra Kitchen?

This fall makes it a year since i’ve been a member

2. What three words would your friends use to describe you?

Determined, Stubborn, Creative, some of my best qualities I think

3. What is the biggest business challenge you’ve had to overcome?

Opening our first brick and mortar in a new neighborhood – I had to “prove myself” to my people all over again that I am the real deal and able to cook these traditional dishes. Don’t let the baby face fool ya! 

4. How has your business benefited from being a member of e.terra?

Having a place to prep, cook and store food properly has been a huge benefit!

5. What’s your favorite part of being a member of e.terra?

Meeting/partnering with other small businesses. I have met some amazing people. 

6. Who is someone who’s made a big impact on your life? Why?

There are a few people I would have to include in this. Obviously, my Mother and Grandmother who are the ones that gave me this gift of creating delicious dishes and a strong work ethic. My old boss, who pushed me to quit (seriously) and still gives me many pointers as a business owner. My wife, who does this with me full time (doing things she doesn’t necessarily like doing) to make sure I have the support I need running and creating ideas for the business. Lastly, my Mother in Law, who past right before we were able to open here in Harlem. She was the most supportive person. Anything we needed she was ready to do. We will always be grateful for her. 

7. What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter the food business or launch a food product?

It’s not fun and games. There are many things that go into it you may never have even thought of. It takes a lot of hard work and long hours but it will always be rewarding! You gotta just take the chance and go for it! 

8. What’s your favorite story to tell about your past?

The story of my beans!!! I will not share it here, you have to come have them at the restaurant to hear the story!

9. What do you love most about your business?

I am proud to keep the traditional dishes from my culture alive. I love hearing and sharing stories of “home” with our customers.

To experience the magic of Chef Frances’ authentic Puerto Rican cuisine, be sure to visit Cocotazo LLC at La Marqueta in El Barrio and indulge in a culinary adventure that celebrates the vibrant flavors of Puerto Rico.

Chef Frances is currently participating in the Harlem Night market that’s taking place Dec 2nd, 9th & 16th at the historic La Marqueta on 116th & Park Avenue.

They have also partnered with Beirwax Queens which allows them to now offer their customers food in Queens, along with a wide selection of crafted brews and cocktails from Beirwax.

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