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Born in Panama City, Panama |

“Canada gave me the opportunity to learn how to be independent, self-sufficient in a stable and safe environment.”

Because of this Rossy says she has nothing but love for Toronto. Having arrived in Canada to visit friends and family on a Christmas vacation in 1987 she decided to stay due to turmoil that came from the US invasion to oust Noriega from power. Two years later she married a Canadian man and had her son, and despite the end of her marriage she wanted to stay and raise her son here. At the same time she left interior design to become a chef as the options for culinary school here in Ontario are excellent. Currently Rossy is working as a professional chef, and is the owner of SupiCucu Diablo’s Fuego hot sauce company.

Toronto as Home

Rossy’s weekly routine brings her to the Kensington Market area. She shops at Tap Phong (a chef’s haven), makes her hot sauce deliveries, shops for Latin & Asian ingredients, eats a little Dim Sum, then visit friends at The Grind House, her favourite coffee shop. Here Rossy can sit and look out at the bright graffiti covered walls and lively shoppers. She explains how there is no place better to people watch in the city than Kensington. She feels a special connection to the market – as it is a place where she feels in touch with both Canadian and Latin cultures.

Connection with the Past

Rossy is holding culantro (not coriander or cilantro, a difference she emphasizes).  Culantro is a totally different herb. Rossy found it here in Canada one day and she couldn’t believe it. As a child she used to love ripping the leaves of the plant in the backyard and smelling it. The scent of it, combined with hot peppers, brings immediate memories of Panama for her. Culantro is one of the most commonly used flavours in Panamanian cuisine, reminding her of her mother’s and grandmother’s kitchens.

“I’m a chef, I relate everything to food”.

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