Hi, I’m a Cuban girl named Bren! My friends call me B. I cook, sing (ooh, so long ago, it seems), and write professionally covering food and travel, naturally. I’m a single gal from DC. I’m a soulful chick. I have a passion for all things food (and more fashion than you can imagine). 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 mom still cooks every day and I unapologetically eat like a glutton. It’s sinful, actually. But of course, I have to cook for myself and my clients and so I spend most of my time in the kitchen developing recipes for my private and brand clients, almost daily. That is, when I’m not traveling. My global jaunt always serve as inspiration for my food. Though I infuse techniques, ingredients, and flavors from everywhere I travel to, my soul is in recreating old recipes I grew up on. Still, I love exploring and pushing my confidence to try foods and cuisines outside of my realm and 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, 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 inquisitive individual, which is so important when you consider the thousands of ethnic groups and philosophies we can learn from.
I didn’t study at a Culinary institute; I simply fell in love with cooking at a very early age and have worked on refining my skill over the last 20. I’m convinced that sometimes, home training is the best one can receive. My mother was relentless (and sometimes still is) in teaching me everything I wanted to know. First with the pressure cooker. And then on to more meaty things. And finally flan. That was the last thing she formally taught me how to make. What can I say about it. While mine are good, hers are out of this world. So good, slices have to be rationed among the family. Hence, this blog’s 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, fusion and globally-inspired 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. 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) and Paris, my crazy fun Cavachon.
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.