Passion for cooking CAN FEED YOUR SOUL

Growing up in Roeland Park, Kansas, I always paid close attention when my two great-grandmothers were in the kitchen!

 

The food was Mexican: fresh tortillas, frijoles (beans), and sopa de arroz (rice). ¡Delicioso! I've loved cooking since I was a little girl, and as I've grown older I've been able to take all that I learned in Grandma Rocha's and Grandma Corona's kitchens and apply it to my favorite cuisine today -- Dominican food.

 

In 1998, I met the young man who would become my husband, Albert. He had come to the United States from the Dominican Republic.

 

Soon, Albert introduced me to his grandmother, America, who instructed and inspired me. The first time we met was in her kitchen, a place oozing with the most remarkable smells.

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On her stove was a set of pots that definitely wasn't your average cookware. They were huge! I soon realized that the large portions of food she was preparing weren't just for her own family, but anyone who happened to drop by. She was cooking for the masses. This is commonplace in the Dominican culture and one of many things about it I truly love. They take care of each other, even if it means feeding the whole neighborhood.

 

It didn't take long before I was spending considerable time with Albert's grandmother and his aunts, learning from them in the same ways I had learned from my own grandmothers as a child. Theirs was a new style of cooking with magical new ingredients like plantains and yucca roots.

 

Today, fifteen years later, I've been to the Dominican Republic numerous times, and on each occasion I learn about new ingredients and new ways to do sensational things with food. From the impoverished village of Batey Aleman, and the meager circumstances of my friend, Bennita, to the capital city of Santo Domingo, and the ample kitchen of my friend, Dona Okeke, I've learned new ways to prepare fish, the art of frying yanikekes, and so much more. Now, it's my hope that I can bring the smells and tastes of these wonderful creations into your world.

 

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