Hi, I’m a Cuban girl named Bren! My friends call me B. And Chelsea is my alter-ego. I cook, sing, and freelance travel write, professionally. I’m a single gal from DC (with p/t status in Atlanta). I’m a soulful chick. I have a passion for all things food (and more fashion than you can imagine). I like to say I’m a good ass cook, especially with the pressure cooker! I was raised in a very traditional Latin home, which means everything happens in the kitchen, literally! Story-telling, crying, partying, fighting, and cooking, of course! My grandmother grew all her herbs in her front yard in Havana, which was nice to see and taste (RIP). My Mother taught me best by my sheer presence in the kitchen while she cooked. We were all graciously blessed with the best casera food a child could have. We were never shorted!
So, naturally, as a teenager and adult, I was always intrigued by food and how it made us all feel. I started cooking around 8 and haven’t stopped since. My <om still cooks every day and when I visit, I unashamedly eat like a glutton. At home, I cook about 4 days a week and love it. I’ve cooked for boyfriends, all my dinner parties, friends, co-workers, etc… and it’s just great! I prepare old recipes I grew up on, new ones I am confident enough to try and more & more often making dishes I’ve eaten abroad. I love to feed people. It’s what we Latin people do. Enter a Latin kitchen and you will be forced to eat.
My inspiration for starting this blog was my love of writing. As a full-time private chef and freelance food/travel writer (mainly world travel) I like to incorporate things I learn along the way, in my cooking style. Traveling all over the world has helped me become a very diverse, cultured and tolerant individual, which is priceless to me when you consider the thousands of ethnic groups and philosophies we can learn from. I also cover music and destinations on the wonderful occasion.
I didn’t study at a Culinary Institute; I simply love to cook and have been doing it for a looooong time. I’m convinced that sometimes, home training is the best one can receive. And flan! What can I say about it!? My mother cooks the best darn flan, ever! No joke. So good, slices have to be rationed among the family. Hence, this blogs name. Well, a wordplay of sorts. I love and have created many different flavors of flan—all of which you’ll see as I make them. My two favorite so far, are pumpkin and espresso.
This is where I document my style in cooking Latin food as a young, single woman that mamà taught well. I thank her for it. I also want the blog to encourage other young women to cook…be relaxed, but sexy when doing it! A lot of my peers do not know how to cook and I’m always amazed by that notion. My guy friends always complain that their girlfriends or wives don’t cook! Girl, you got to feed your man! (not sure if it’s a value I should have inherited from my mother whom keeps my dad well satisfied every night). I invite you to learn how to cook, and find joy in it! Have fun in the kitchen. It’s not a chore at all, I promise! I’ll express my whimsy and affair with pressure cooking, or my craze in slicing truffles. I’ll offer my professional reviews of restaurants I patronize world wide. I’ll even share pictures of life in general, like my Bishon, Geisha after a fresh hair-do. (Sadly, my Geisha passed away in May, 2010)
Not so lastly, the style you’ll see won’t be just food, but fashion too! I am as shoe fanatic so don’t be surprised if on the occasion, you see a picture of me cooking in some smokin’ pumps (or a hat) (or my mom’s jewelry–wink, wink)! I hope you enjoy everything I share here. It really does come from my heart and soul every time I turn on my gas stove.
Buen provecho, amigos!
I was born in Cuba and raised in Virginia, right outside DC. Oh yeah and I don’t eat Cuban food at restaurants. It’s just one of those things. I can gladly be reached at bren (at) flanboyanteats (dot) com. I will update this occasionally as new and spicy news develops! Stop by when ever! I’d love your company.
PS: Dad y mami, you are my number one cheerleaders, always! Muah.