On May 16, 2017 the Willamette Week, an alternative weekly from Portland, published a profile of Kooks, a breakfast burrito pop-up operating out of one of Portland’s innumerable food carts. In the article, Kooks co-owner Liz Connelly describes how she and fellow owner Kali Wilgus went crazy over flour tortillas while on a trip to Puerto Nuevo:
“I picked the brains of every tortilla lady…and they showed me a little of what they did,” Connelly said in the interview. “They told us the basic ingredients, and we saw them moving and stretching the dough …before rolling it out with rolling pins. They wouldn’t tell us too much about technique, but we were peeking into the windows of every kitchen, totally fascinated by how easy they made it look. We learned quickly it isn’t quite that easy.”
Three days later, the millennial-focused Mic network wrote “These white cooks bragged about bringing back recipes from Mexico to start a business.” Then on May 22, another local weekly, the Portland Mercury, published a scathing piece that may have delivered the deathblow. Wilgus and Connelly shuttered the Kooks Burrito cart citing unconfirmed reports of 10 death threats. Eight days later, the Mercury took the story down as “not factually supported.” But the six day war had already ended. Kooks was gone.