Grilling is actually quite easy. My buddy and fellow Cafeteria Films collaborator, Nelson, teaches me just how easy it is to grill and make a version of chimichurri my mother would likely not be proud of.
As a kid, every steak we had for dinner was skirt steak, a thin, long, and super lean cut of beef that Latin people love to cook with. It was until I was in my late teens that I remember ever eating a piece of meat thicker than half an inch. The level of chewing necess…Continue Reading
“Let’s go somewhere. Anywhere. I don’t care. I need a vacation.”
“Just like that? Pick a place, then,” replied the husband.
And just like that, Playa Del Carmen in Mexico became the guideless, point-a-finger-at-a-map-with-your-eyes-closed-then-scootch-it-to-where-you-actually-wanted-to-go destination of choice.
“Let’s go eat a lot of tacos and film you eating them.”
And with just as much decisiveness as our destination choice, our vacation quickly tu…Continue Reading
I. Playa del Carmen, Mexico
I arrive at Playa del Carmen six hours too early to check into my hotel. This is the overzealous way I like to start my vacations: I torture myself with the earliest flight into the city so I can cram an impossible amount of meals and activities into my day. I usually end up with a weird limp and a bout of acid reflux that leaves me cowering in my hotel room, but it’s the thought that counts.
It’s my fifth wedding anniversary and Carlos and I …Continue Reading
It was early on a Saturday morning, much earlier than I would usually wake up on a weekend. But, this day was a special day. Waking up with only four hours of sleep, instead of the usual workweek-recovery eleven, is entirely fueled by hunger. Not a breakfast hunger, or a hung-over hunger. It’s the type of hunger usually reserved for Thanksgiving, or in this case, the South Beach Wine and Food Festival.
10:07 AM: Talking about food but not eating food
I ar…Continue Reading
I always knew where my pork sandwiches came from. I’d been staring at the lifeless eyes of a roasted whole pig on an annual basis since I was five years old. Eyes that didn’t mean anything but, “I’m feeding your entire family tonight, and your mom will creatively insert me in various meals for at least a week.”
I was practically raised by a television set as a kid, sitting in front of a constantly blaring screen of images and noise for as long as both my parents worked and for as long as my daycare sitters were lazy (which was all of the time.) These, of course, were the days before Baby Einstein existed and mommy-guilt forums touted the need for “social stimulation” at an early age.
With so many hours of TV, I naturally forged a deep kinship with the characters I watched and felt…Continue Reading
Strolling through the trendy South Beach neighborhood of Sunset Harbor, I came across Lucali, a sit-down pizza joint famous for their long lines at their original Brooklyn location, and more notably, their pricey $30 pies.
“$30?” I auto-calculated as I scanned the menu, trying to fight my fondness toward globs of hot cheese and the urgency to throw money at my hunger problem. But something didn’t sit quite right about going somewhere nice, having a glass of wine and racking…Continue Reading
On my trip to Japan, I made it a point to collect every flavor of Kit Kat I found along the way. I went on an epic vacation scavenger hunt for these things, walking into supermarkets, convenience stores and souvenir shops stuffing my purse with chocolates that ended up melting into green tea and cheesecake-flavored goop.
There have been over 200 absurd-sounding flavors of Kit Kat chocolates in Japan since 2007, each version representing the local flavors and palate of the …Continue Reading
A macaron is a sweet French pastry constructed by two outer cookie shells filled with one layer of buttercream or jam. They are delicate and colorful, a much more refined and cultured version of the good ol’ American whoopie pie.
People squint their eyes, purse their lips and use baby talk whenever they hold a macaron in their hand. This is a substance from another planet where unicorns reign free and elves with glowing cheeks take up gardening and drink afternoon tea. It …Continue Reading
“Do not underestimate this book, mi hija,” my mom tells me as she hands over a book with a faded pink cover, an artifact that’s been in our house since the beginning of time.
“This book smells like café,” says my sister, scrunching her nose as we pass the book around the kitchen.
As I page through the coffee-stained pages of my mom’s copy of Nitza Villapol’s Cocina Criolla, which is pretty much the Cuban cooking bible, I see familiar characters from my upbringing. There’…Continue Reading