Joseph R. Profaci joined his family’s Linden-based business, Colavita USA, in 1993. Four years ago, a fortuitous meeting changed his parh. “At a Culinary lnstitute of America conference, I met Chef LaLa. She was interested in developing a line of Latin oils.”
Laura “Lala” Diaz, a chef with a healthy approach to Latin cuisine, grew up eating her family’s authentic Mexican food and knows the flavors immediately.
“The whole idea of gourmet Mexican resonated with me — with the past, with my dad, with Colavita,” says Profaci. His father launched Colavita, famous for irs olive oils and Italian specialty products, in the 1970s as the marker began to embrace the concept of gourmet Italian food, and the younger Profaci was inspired to do the same with Latin: “Mexican food is a peasant cuisine full of flavor. You can create amazing things.”
The emphasis is on purity in Chef LaLa’s products and the fresh flavors that power through. The Orange Chipotle Marinade, with its fiery punch and sweet finish, is a stand out, as well as the kicky Tomato-Serrano Red Sauce.
Chef LaLa Homemade products are available at Kings, Sickles Market, Murphy’s Markets, and other fine specialty food stores statewide.