B.A. – Women’s Studies, Agnes Scott College
M.A. – Journalism and Latin American and Caribbean Studies, New York University
Research Interests and Honors
Von Diaz is a writer, documentary producer, and author of Coconuts & Collards: Recipes and Stories from Puerto Rico to the Deep South.
Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Atlanta, GA, she explores food, culture, and identity through memoir and multimedia. In addition to her debut culinary memoir, she has contributed recipes and essays to a number of cookbooks and anthologies, including America The Great Cookbook (Weldon Owen, 2017), Feed the Resistance (Chronicle Books, 2017), Women on Food (Abrams Book, October 2019), Tasty Pride (Penguin Random House, Fall 2019), and Rage Baking (Simon & Schuster, February 2020), and Sheetpan Chicken (Penguin Random House, September 2020). Her work has been featured in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Bon Appétit, NPR, Food & Wine Magazine, Eater, and Epicurious. She has also been a reporter for NPR, StoryCorps, The Splendid Table, WNYC, PRI’s The World, The Southern Foodways Alliance, Colorlines, and Feet in 2 Worlds.
In addition to food journalism, she has also worked for a number of institutions dedicated to storytelling, arts and culture, and social justice. She teaches food studies and oral history at the Department of American Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Previously, she was the Lehman Brady visiting professor at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. She was an Editor and Radio Producer at StoryCorps, where she produces radio broadcasts for NPR’s Morning Edition, and contributed dozens of interviews to the organization’s vast oral history archive in the Library of Congress. Before arriving at StoryCorps, she was the Editor of Feet in 2 Worlds, which brings the work of immigrant and ethnic media journalists from communities across the U.S. to public radio and the web. Previously, she was the Marketing and Communications Manager for El Museo del Barrio, a celebrated Puerto Rican and Latino museum and cultural institution in New York City. In addition to her teaching and journalistic work, she’s led story research and development for an original documentary film series, a series of animated shorts, and podcast for Google.
She is a frequent public speaker, and in 2015 she gave the TEDx talk, “Every Dish Has a Story: Mapping My Food History,” exploring how cooking and eating reflect our deepest cultural roots. In addition, she’s taught food writing and audio production workshops at New York University and The New School, among others.
Von received a B.A. in Women’s Studies from Agnes Scott College. She went on to receive a dual M.A. in Journalism and Latin American and Caribbean Studies from New York University, where she completed a Tinker Field Research Fellowship to record oral histories of elder LGBTQ communities in Havana, Cuba.
Feeding Diaspora: Global Food Stories and Audio Storytelling
Food & American Culture: Migration, Systems, and Evolving Tastes