I was born and raised in Puerto Rico where Puerto Rican food staples of rice, beans, a protein, and a small side of vegetables or salad were the daily norm. My family moved to the United States when I was fifteen years old. In Florida, I was introduced to many different cuisines and cultures. For a while I stopped eating Puerto Rican food. I wanted to experience all the new flavors I was encountering.
By my mid twenties I decided to go to culinary school where I learned classical French cooking. Between attending culinary school and working at signiature restaurants I was exposed to amazing ingredients and cooking techniques, I was mesmerized. It wasn’t until I had moved to Buffalo New York, when I felt a strong draw back to my roots. I was homesick.
Homesick to see my mother, brother, and sister. Homesick for her home cooking. And homesick for beaches and tropical weather of both Florida and Puerto Rico. And for the warm ocean breeze, and the smell of mangoes ripening on the trees. So, I started to cook Puerto Rican food, but quickly found out that I didn’t know much of my own food culture. Soon after I had moved back to Florida and began to learn more about where I came from.
Girl Meets Fire is a product of my need to get re-acquainted with my roots. To take the stories and lessons my mother gave me and put them into practice. To cook how she was taught, but still give my food my own take and interpretation. I want to cook from scratch and to learn how ingredients become the foods we eat. Do you want to take on this journey with me?
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