About The Chef
Owner and Head Chef of Cocotazo LLC
My name is Frances Roman and I am the owner and head chef at Cocotazo LLC.
My journey started when I was a kid. Growing up in a Puerto Rican home, you are taught to make rice at the age of 9 (if not earlier). I remember as a kid watching my mother cook for not only our entire family, but for the neighborhood. My mother and grandmother used to sell food in front of their building in the 60s. I come from a long line of cooks, so cooking is not just in my blood but also my heart and soul.
I grew up like most Latino children on rice, beans and chicken. I remember being so annoyed that we were eating this meal “again” that I wanted to try and create something new. My goal then was (and still is) to make Puerto Rican food with a twist – fuse other cultures with our traditional food. When I was 17 I landed a job with Dean & Deluca (a gourmet food market in SOHO). I remember being in awe at the variety of breads, coffee, meats etc, it was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. My creative juices started to flow and I remember grabbing ingredients off the shelves I never heard of or had tasted before and trying them out on foods at home. 20 years later, just like my mom did, I now cook for my friends and family.
I’ve always dreamt of becoming a famous chef and owning my own restaurant but, with a family and a mortgage, taking the leap seems so risky – but plans are being made! My love for cooking, creating beautiful dishes and recipes has never stopped and I just want to create everyday.
In the era of the Instagram, I created a handle called @FoodAdventuresWithFrances a few years back (this is now my personal IG follow the company @CocotasoCateringLLC). The purpose of the page was to show my followers my food travels (which I do very often) as well as my own food creations. The page brought me popularity with foodies, which eventually lead followers to soliciting services from me such as private dinning (in home cooking) or catering (parties, corporate and events). They want my food on their tables! This is my dream becoming a reality!
Cocotaso became part of the Queens International Night Market last spring (2019) , where we sold some of Puerto Rico’s most beloved foods! Our most popular items were our Pasteles, Alcapurrias and of course Pernil! We were also part of the Bronx Night Market, NYBG Bar Car nights and cook on various dates at Bier Wax in Brooklyn.
2020 will be even bigger, so be sure to follow us on all platforms to see what’s next!
This is just the beginning….