My mother and grandmother. I use to watch them cook all the time. The way they would create flavors from the ground up making everything fresh, really inspired me to learn how to build flavors and make everything from scratch, get to the essence of a dish and really put all of me into a dish. They taught me how to put my heart on the plate and put a smile on someone’s face when they taste it.
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Puerto Rican style corned beef with white rice and pork chops is my all-time favorite! Nothing else brings me home like this dish. It’s not the fanciest dish but it is delicious and I love it! It takes me back to my childhood every time I eat it. Least favorite? Anything with olives. I’m not a fan of them at all.
My favorite dish to make would have to be anything to do with breakfast. It’s the first thing I ever learned how to cook was scrambled eggs at 7 or 8 years old. I make amazing omelets! My least favorite dish to cook are microwave dinners.
Puerto Ricans seem to throw a party every weekend. These parties are like a potluck dinner because everyone brings food and beverages! The one request I always get is to make the roast pork shoulder (Pernil). I season it to perfection with my homemade sofrito and a garlic spread that I make. End result is a delicious juicy meat and an extra crispy skin.
I'm really trying get more familiar with French cuisine. I find that style of cuisine very interesting. I like all cuisines though. I describe my style of cooking as Puerto Rican-influenced International Cuisine. I really don't have a least favorite cuisine. I’ll eat anything!
I want to travel to Spain, France and Italy to taste their food from an authentic source. Besides just tasting their food, I would love to spend some time with the best chefs from each country to study and learn about their cuisines and try to master each style of cooking.
Music and food always go together in my house. I listen to everything, but growing up Salsa was always playing in my house, so I guess my Top 3 songs would include Salsa. You can never go wrong with Hector Lavoe and these are my favorite songs: “El Cantante”, “Periodico De Ayer”,"Triste y Vacia”
I wanted to be a contestant on MasterChef mainly to have the opportunity to learn from great chefs like Gordon, Graham and Joe. That's a once and a lifetime opportunity, and I wanted to take full advantage of it. The wealth of knowledge about food that those chefs have is priceless. The grand prize was another good reason too.
It's more of a side dish but I'm a potato salad enthusiast. It doesn't matter who makes it, I'm on it. I love, love potato salad.
Home, love, priceless