Chefs and Restaurants

Irena Stein Operates a Relief Kitchen by Day and a Restaurant at Night

Liz Grossman

Irena Stein calls her Baltimore restaurant, Alma Cocina Latina, “a Venezuelan restaurant with wide borders.” While that phrase used to apply only to the Peruvian or Caribbean influences on the menu, it’s taken on new meaning since Alma joined forces with Mera Kitchen Collective, a working co-op that employs immigrants and refugees.

Two days after the Maryland governor mandated that restaurants close in mid-March, Alma kitchen joined the Mera...