I’m originally from Panama and spent my teen years living in Europe. Food, history, languages and world cultures have always been fascinating to me. I am fortunate to have many friends from every continent and I hope to share some of their “sabor” with you.
While I do most of the cooking, research and writing, my husband Tom is busy with the camera and geeky website stuff. Here is a short version of our culinary journey below. Although this may sound really corny, it all started in the back kitchen of this little romantic French bistro in our hometown. (See pic below.)
I speak Spanish, English and French so drop me a reply! See down below on this page about how to get in touch with me for questions or comments or you can check my FAQ page.
So, why do I blog? Well, simply put, I love food, especially ethnic foods. I could say my love of ethnic foods started about 12 years ago. My husband and I became friends with a French chef. At the time he was just starting out a small bistro (Bertrand’s Bistro) in downtown Erie, PA. Being of French heritage I was immediately drawn to some of the foods I had been introduced to as a child and through travels in Europe with my family.
I suggested that he do cooking classes on Sundays (when the restaurant was closed) to earn some extra income. And so we began to hold classes on French cooking once a month on Sunday. For about four and a half years (excepting summers) some of my friends and I took over the tiny restaurant kitchen. We learned to make many of the wonderful French sauces, crème bruleé and coq au vin among other things. We learned knife basics, how to test a cream sauce; tie a roast and many other practical things. The day was spent in good company and with good wine, of course!!!! The day ended with us enjoying the fruits of our labor in the dining room, enjoying a four course authentic French meal.
As the years went by, I began to experiment with other ethnic dishes, Middle Eastern, Indian, Italian and Latin American, just to name a few. Recently I took things a step further and began to research the history of food and became fascinated with the tight connection that exists between food and culture. I find this adds a whole new dimension to cooking, one that is truly fascinating, and that I want to share with you on this blog.
This summer of 2013 I began to put my culinary skills into practice and began to teach cooking classes on ethnic food at a local organic market with a stunning studio kitchen and bar stools for all the “students” to gather around. They asked me to offer a series of classes on Latin American Cooking so I began the “La Cocina Latina” series. I will try to get some pictures up for you. The classes are intimate and there is a lot of opportunity for chatting, mingling, drinking wine and yes, cooking!!!!! I am so enjoying these classes.
I would love to hear from you so please contact me. Emails can be sent to ethnicspoon [at] gmail [dot] com. I’ll do my best to reply to every comment and email I receive. The best way to get a question answered quickly is by leaving a comment on a recipe post or on facebook.
Here is my Ethnic Spoon Team:
Adam – Culinary Student at Mercyhurst University
Erika – English teacher in Hanoi Vietnam, virtual assistant and “brave” street food & recipe researcher in all parts of Southeast Asia.
Analida – Foodie, writer and recipe developer.
Tom – Site admin, food stylist and photographer.