The biggest influence on my cooking is my mother. From the early days of making peanut butter and banana sandwiches to learning how to slice plantains to using a pressure cooker and now managing a kitchen on my own, mi madre can take 100% credit for teaching me the proper basics and technique. I suppose her intention wasn’t for me to become a chef, rather a well-seasoned home cook that could whip up dinner on a whim. With 5 kids and a picky husband, she was one with the cocina skills and did (does) it all with tremendous love. She had a method for getting one of my brothers and me excited about cooking, though. There was strategy to getting us involved with her. And, now that I think about it, they worked!