I live in Providence, RI, but I'm a Texas transplant. One of the lovely things about my surrogate home is the number of great little restaurants. With a world-class cooking school here (Johnson and Wales), many young chefs stick around and make their first debuts here because it is a growing, affordable city with a young, artsy vibe. Providence is also very diverse, which works out well for me since I love trying new types of foods and cooking with out-of-the-ordinary ingredients.
My favorite things to cook
I just bought a new professional series kitchenaid (LOVE it!) so I've been baking a lot of bread. Current favorite is the hearty multi-grain from Shirley Corriher's CookWise. I also love to make soup in the winter and have been perfecting a roasted butternut squash and sweet potato recipe.
Trying new things and challenging myself is my favorite part of cooking - I hardly ever make the same thing twice - and I enjoy making things that take some time but aren't fussy.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Grandma's southern rolls, mom's banana pudding and posole (pork stew with hominy), and Joe's pot roast. My grandmother in Mexico is renowned for her chiles rellenos and mole, which I recently got to sample when I went to Mexico City for my cousin Itzel's wedding. Out of this world!
My cooking triumphs
Made a slammin' loaf of bread yesterday! This past Christmas dinner was another highlight. I have a good friend who runs an organic farm in Narragansett, RI, and he gave me a beautiful heritage-breed turkey for Christmas. I carted it home to Santa Fe (where my parent's live now) and roasted it for Christmas dinner. It was fabulous!
My cooking tragedies
No such thing. I've learned the most from my mistakes, and I will never stop making them. Being afraid to fail is what holds people back from pushing themselves to be the best.