Hola! Here’s a little intro post to kick start this adventure. Sofrito Chic incorporates two words that inspired this journey and what my social cooking is all about: Good Puerto Rican soul food with a twist of chic. Sprinkling ingredients and tricks here and there taken from my travel experiences adding that eclectic twist my kitchen has always had.
I grew up between the mountainous jungle where my grandmother was born, and the busy and colorful microcosm of the capital city of PR, San Juan, hiding under my grandma’s “muumuu” playing with corn fritter dough stuck between my fingers.
I learned my best tricks by helping her cook almost every day from the age of 4 until my college days when she prematurely passed away. Her approach to food and her attitude of never taking shortcuts in the kitchen taught me that hard work always pays off at the end. As a city kid, my mom understood the importance of keeping us grounded and connected to our culture and past, so we often visited our close relatives in the country side, running around fields of coffee bushes, plucking chicken feathers, or feeding baby piglets at my grandfather’s pig farm, all before heading home to traffic lights and MTv.
Abuela Goyita (left) making pasteles on the kitchen table with her daughter Titi Margarita
My grandma and my mom instilled in me a deep appreciation for home-grown, fresh produce and the strong connection our food has to our roots and the island culture. As I became young woman, I left my little island-universe and found myself in far and away places exploring new parts of the world and picking up tricks and flavors in between never forgetting the lessons in life my grandma passed on to me.
Styling Abuela’s hair was one of my favorite things to do
From the Plaza del Mercado in Rio Piedras, PR to the food market on the side of a small road in Krabi, Thailand; Sofrito chic documents the journey of that little girl with golden locks helping grandma pick pigeon peas from the back yard, to the woman I am today. Infusing these flavors into every day meals, sharing them with friends from my small home in Austin, Texas.
Here’s a humble piece of me, and a bow to all the strong and amazing women that came before me. I am happy to share the bits I’ve learned from my adventures in life with the hopes it makes you eat well and smile along the way.
Today is the 18th anniversary or your passing, so here’s a toast to you Abuela. I miss you.