Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month 2022 at Royal Park Hotel

Anna Harris

Royal Park Hotel
HR Assistant

Ana Harris

My name is Anna, I was born in Guatemala City and moved to the states when I was adopted at the age of three. My adoptive mother is Bolivian so I was blessed to continue growing up in my Hispanic culture. Hispanic Heritage months means so much to me because it is a time where all my extended family gets together to celebrate life, love, and family. During this time, we love to celebrate by having a pig roast, dancing to salsa music, and enjoying each other’s company. I had the privilege to learn about my history and culture and it is something that I hold on to so that I can continue to pass it to future generations.


Cooking time: 1 hour

1 c. white rice
3 Yukon gold potatoes
1 small green pepper, med. diced
1/2 small red onion, med. diced
1 tomato, medium diced
2 tsp vinegar
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 lb. ground beef
3/4 c. breadcrumbs
Handful of cilantro
Canola oil

First, get 1 cup of rice with 2 cups of water heating on the stove. Also, put three whole potatoes on to boil for about 10 minutes. Once cool enough to touch, you will slice them like this (notice the insides are still raw). You are going to finish cooking them in a frying pan. Massage salt and pepper into the ground beef with your hands. Then you divide the ground beef into balls the size of limes.  Sprinkle ground pepper onto a pile of breadcrumbs and then roll the beef in the breadcrumbs to give it a light coating. Coat each side the meat with breadcrumbs and roll flat with a rolling pin on top of the breadcrumbs, flipping the meat over whenever it starts to stick. The final thickness should be like a crepe. Roll each meatball out into a sheet and stack the rolled meat sheets on a plate.  Pan sear each on medium high, flipping them when you could see raw pink start to turn brown. Stack each finished meat sheet on a plate, and then fry eggs individually and brown the potato rounds. Top the dish with the salad of tomato, red onion, and green pepper. Bright, fresh, and crunchy, it breaks up the richness of the meat, eggs and potatoes. The dressing is equal parts vinegar and oil, plus generous salt. To put the plate together, put potatoes at the bottom, then rice, the beef, egg and then the salad.

Carlos Camacho

Carlos Camacho

Restaurant Supervisor/Food Runner
Royal Park Hotel

To me being a Latino means loyalty, family, hard work, and being a strong person who is proud of their flag, even if the history may be a little crazy. I was born in New York, however, my family is Puerto Rican. I was adopted from another Puerto Rican family and grew up in Yauco, Puerto Rico with them. I feel that I was blessed with the opportunity of having a great life and I am proud of my culture.

Recipe: Arroz con Gandules y Puerco
(Puerto Rican Pigeon Pea & Pork)

1 1/2 lb pork loin, cut in bite size pieces, be sure to buy pork loin
1/2 lg sweet onion such as Vidalia diced
1/2 lg sweet bell pepper diced
4 clove fresh garlic smashed or put through a garlic press
1 c canola oil or lard
1/4 c good white table wine, not cooking wine
1 can small can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/4 c diced culantro or cilantro (culantro is a long wide leaf with a hearty aroma like cilantro
1/2 tsp oregano, dried
1 Tbsp achiote/annato seeds or ground annato powder
1 Tbsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 c long grain white rice or jasmin rice
2 1/2 c chicken broth if available or water
1 sm packet goya sazon seasonig with culantro and achiote
1 can pigeon peas strained of all liquid
1/2 tsp garlic powder to season pork meat

Gerardo Santos

Gerardo Santos

Shipping and Receiving Manger
Royal Park Hotel

I was born in Puerto Rico in 1966 in a very large family. In the winter on 1979, my family moved to Pontiac, Michigan. It was a very different experience from the island. Once we got used to the weather and the different lifestyle, Michigan has become my home. To me, celebrating Hispanic heritage month means celebrating the culture, the love of the people, the great food, indulging in playing cards and dominos, and of course having our strong black coffee.

Recipe: Puerto Rican Empanadas

1/2 lbs Ground beef
1 Tbsp Olive oil
2 Tbsp Sofrito
1 Packet Sazon w coriander and annatto
1/4 Cup Goya tomato sauce
1 Tsp Minced garlic
1/2 Diced onion
6 Stuffed pimento olives diced
1/8 Tsp Black pepper
1/2 Tsp Dried oregano
1/2 Cup Mexican blend cheese
1 Package Goya discos ; Frozen turnover dough
1 Cup Corn oil / Peanut oil ; For frying
1 Egg ; Sealing dough

In a skillet, heat oil on medium heat. Stir in ground meat and cook just until sizzling and half-browned. Stir in the remaining ingredients, (except cheese, egg, discos and frying oil). Lower heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until mixture thickens. With your thawed Goya discos, spoon about 1 tbsp. of the mixture into the middle with a sprinkle of cheese, fold-over and moisten edges with the egg and seal with a fork. Heat 2 1/2 inches of oil in a deep saucepan on medium heat. Cook empanadas in batches, turning until lightly browned on both sides. Drain on paper towels and enjoy one of my favorite foods on earth!