Latin flavours everyday

Colombian-born Ingrid Hoffmann's obsession with food began as a child, but she soon developed her own distinctive style and hopes her Latin twist to everyday food will appeal to a broad audience.

by: Richard Leong | 08 Oct 2007

"I don't necessarily eat typical Latin food everyday. I still eat Latin flavours everyday. I want to do what I call 'Nuevo Latino/Caribbean,'" said Hoffmann, 41, who now lives in Miami.

Hoffmann has adopted her popular Spanish-language cooking-and-lifestyle television show for an English audience in "Simply Delicioso," which was recently picked up for a second season.

She is also working on a cookbook, "Simply Delicioso: A Collection of Everyday Recipe with a Latin Twist," which is due to be published early next year.

Hoffmann spoke about her cooking style and inspiration.

Q: Who have been your cooking influences?
A: "Both of my parents have been really into food. My mom being a Cordon Bleu chef started her catering business out of the house. Ever since I could remember in my house they would be cooking weekly for many different events. There would always be tons of food all day long which is made for that specific reason and also for the house. My father is an amazing cook too."

Q: How did you translate your Spanish-language show for a broader American audience?
A: "For example, Hispanic women obtain their power through the kitchen. To them it's about being goddess of the home. Second, it's about saving money. The general market is more about saving time. The other thing that has been very complicated is introducing, little by little, flavours that are not known to the general market. I have opted to take a lot of American classics and do Latin versions of them."

Q: What are kitchen items/tools you cannot live without?
A: "I love throwing everything in the food processor sometimes. My lime-and-lemon squeezer is key. I have a lot of problems with my hands so I always try to find tools to help me. I make my own 'adobo', which is a blend of herbs and spices, which I literally put on everything with the exception of desserts."

Q: What do you cook when you are eating alone?
A: "I'm definitely a mood eater. It could be something really healthy like a salad or a quesadilla or a tortilla on the grill with some mashed avocado, some olive oil with some pignoli nuts and cilantro."

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