Why I want to be mentor in this category: I'm Cuban-American, and have been cooking delicious authentic Cuban cuisine for 10 years.
What inspires me in this category: I love any kind of comfort food, and for me and my family this kind of food brings us all the comfort in the world. It also has the power to draw some serious crowds!
Experience: Since the age of 13 I've been cooking all kinds of Cuban cuisine along with my Mother and Grandmothers. They brought their favorite recipes from Cuba when they moved to America in the early 60's and they've become my family's comfort food.
Biggest Lesson Learned: How to make "sofrito". How to fry plantains. How to make perfect rice.
Books, classes, teachers that have helped me: Having Cuban markets scattered all over the county really helps to get the right ingredients. Also, feedback from multiple family members has helped me a lot in refining the recipes to taste their best.
Education, Awards, Pro Experience: No formal training here! Just years of cooking with my family and learning recipes that have been passed down over 5 generations.
Always cook more! There's always someone who wants seconds or thirds.
Don't get frustrated when you cook. It's all about having fun and learning.
Try to use fresh ingredients, including spices. But don't worry if you can't. It'll still taste great!
Organizing your work space makes the cooking process way more enjoyable.