Just shortly after WWeek announced Kooks Burritos — a small burrito pop-up with events at the Tight Tacos food cart in Southeast — the operation has shuttered and deleted much of its online presence.
The closure coincides with public outrage at what some are calling the restaurant’s “appropriation” of another culture’s “intellectual property.”
Kooks Burritos owners Kali Wilgus and Liz “LC” Connelly said they developed their menus in part by picking “the brains of every tortilla lady there [Puerto Nuevo, Mexico] in the worst broken Spanish ever,” and this description of its research practices as well as other comments within the article spurred editorials and debates across the internet.
The Mic news website bought national attention to Kooks Burritos with its coverage, titled, “These white cooks bragged about stealing recipes from Mexico to start a Portland business.” It reads, “The problem, of course, is that it’s unclear whether the Mexican women who handed over their recipes ever got anything in return.”
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