“I’m Denise. Welcome to HISPANIC-ISH. My kitchen is always full of love and delicousness. I encourage you to join me on this mouth-watering adventure.”
Hello and welcome to hispanic-ish
You’ve made it to Hispanic-ish! If you’ve found yourself here it’s because you’re interested in making some delicious Latin food!!
I am so excited to jump on this fabulous journey with you. At Hispanic-ish I work hard to bring you healthier and guilt-free recipes of your favorite Latin meals. Since we’re going to become friends, how about I tell you all about me and Hispanic-ish!
I’m Denise!! I am a proud American, born and raised in the heart of New York City, with a soul forever belonging to my Hispanic heritage. My mother is an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, my father was born in Puerto Rico, and my step-Father is Mexican. I am a second-generation American Latina and I’m pretty dang proud of it! I identify as both Hispanic and American because, without one, I would not be who I am today. My Hispanic heritage has built the foundation for how I have shaped my life, but the same could be said with my American upbringing. My morals, the food I eat, the music I listen too, even the books I read are a mash of both cultures, making me Hispanic-ish!
How did Hispanic-ish come about?
Many of us fall into this category where we love our culture and heritage, but also can’t exactly connect with some aspects of it. For me, this often happens with FOOD! I LOVE Latin, Latino, Hispanic, Spanish (Whatever your word for it is) Food! Whether it’s Dominican, Puerto Rican, Colombian, Mexican, Cuban… Absolutely drooling already haha…
There is no denial, we love it! However, I think most would agree that it isn’t always the healthiest option right? I Live for the days when my mom was in the kitchen all day making morro, Pernil, ensalada de papa, pastelone, and pastelitos… Did you also just take a trip down memory lane to Christmas dinner? However, after all the deliciousness, we totally feel it the next day. Was that fourth pastelito really worth it? Clearly the answer is YES! But what if we could indulge peacefully without our tummies kicking us down? And thus, the idea of HISPANIC-ISH was born!
Hispanic-ish: Who am I?
I’m no chef but I definitely know my way around the Kitchen NOW. Till this day, I will never forget the face my mom made when I first cooked for her. Let’s just say she spit it out! To my defense, I was nine, and cooking bistec was overachieving, but hey go hard or go home right? (Side note, clearly years later we now know our parents meant beef steak, and not bistec). Oh, the comical joy of growing up in a bilingual household, but we’ll save that for another day! I share this story because as awful as my cooking was, it was what motivated me to learn.
Fast forward a few years later, my now-husband was offered an opportunity to work in London, an opportunity we couldn’t pass up. We quickly packed our bags and #MovedToLondon. While living abroad, we caught the travel bug and boy have our lives changed since. We absolutely love to travel and learn about new cultures. Traveling for food has been our favorite pastime, so much so that we take a cooking class in each new country we visit.
My mom is an amazing cook. However, no one was ever allowed in the kitchen when she was working her magic. Can you also relate? So how did I learn? Well, I actually taught myself! I would try to taste the ingredients in my mom’s cooking. After school, instead of playing with my barbies, I would experiment in the kitchen. Sometimes it would be a total disaster but other times I surprised myself. I continued experimenting and got to a point where I can now recreate restaurant-quality recipes just by taking a bite, an accomplishment I am extremely proud of. I joke around saying I am officially ready to tackle on the dreaded Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen taste test! Just kidding!!… Well, kind of HAHA!
Cooking has always been a passion of mine. I was a full-time student, with a full-time job, and a volunteering schedule, yet I somehow managed to still incorporate cooking into my lifestyle as much as possible. There weren’t enough hours in a day to do everything that I wanted, but I decided to keep pushing. I started my own catering company called “La Luz Catering”. It was a nod to my great grandmother Luz who was my biggest supporter, and was always the first in line to taste EVERYTHING I made. I was beyond busy with all that I had going on, but I was also finally starting to feel fulfilled. This is when I realized cooking was my passion and no office job would ever complete me.
Through our travels, we have tried food from all around the world, and try to incorporate our favorites back into our lives at home. It’s fascinating when you realize how similar your culture is to others, simply through the art of food. We had put “La Luz Catering” on pause with the intention to find a way to introduce London to Hispanic food. After traveling and settling into our new home, we noticed that London could use some Latino food love, and that’s when “La Luz Catering” transformed into “El Colmadito”
As newlyweds, and coming from Hispanic and Filipino backgrounds, minutes after we said “I Do” the famous question was popped…BABIES? Sooo…. We gave them one and “El Colmadito” was born three months later. “El Colmadito” is a plant-based Latin Caribbean street food concept in London. You read that correctly! YES PLANT-BASED! While living in Europe we have adopted a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle. We wanted to incorporate this into our new baby. We created a menu that reminds you of a typical Latino Christmas dinner without the guilt. So now that fourth pastelito can turn into your fifth without you thinking about it the next day!
Check out El Colmadito on Facebook HERE.
“El Colmadito” was set to have its soft opening on April 11th, 2020 with its grand opening on May 8th 2020. Thank you COVID-19 for the postponement! However, I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and we should genuinely be grateful for what we have. I decided to turn our negative into a positive by starting a blog to share my recipes with you!
Check out El Colmadito’s homepage!
HISPANIC-ISH is a platform for me to share healthier alternatives to the food we love. By introducing vegan, vegetarian, and other substitutions, we can transform our most beloved recipes into tasty guilt-free dishes. My background is made up of a melting pot full of different cultures, therefore HISPANIC-ISH is a representation of them all.
WELCOME to HISPANIC-ISH! And thank you for getting to know me! Now let’s get cooking tother! Buen Provecho!