Sandra Gutierrez speaks to the class of 2021 prior to commencement


Smithsonian honors founding Board Member

September 23, 2021

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15), curators at the Smithsonian Institution have highlighted the cultural contributions of Cary Academy founding Board Member Sandra Gutierrez as one of seven “Latinas who shaped American culture.”

A celebrated food journalist and cookbook author, Gutierrez’s work highlighted the culinary connective tissue and parallel palates that links Southern and Hispanic food culture. She “helped create the Southern-Latino Culinary Movement,” according to the Smithsonian, which houses a collection of Gutirrez’s cooking tools, including biscuit cutters.

During Commencement in May, Gutierrez’s keynote address inspired the Class of 2021 to go forth, find new connections, and strive to try new things — drawing on her own story of using food to form connections in an unfamiliar community and the transformative impact it had on her life.

¡Felicidades, Sandra!

Written by Dan Smith, Digital Content Producer and Social Media Manager

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