I started cooking when I was 10 years old in my hometown Arauco, first baking a simple yellow cake every Wednesday afternoon, as a sort of a weekly ritual. Recipe was my grandma's, and of course now I know it by heart and make it a couple of times a year. It's the best cake! Also around that time I started helping my dad on the grill. Nearly every weekend we would grill big cuts of meat, pork ribs, smoked longaniza sausage, etc., either for a small family gathering or for a lot of guests. Big, happy, noisy tables full of people, eating grilled meats and sides as fresh tomato pebre salsa, boiled potatoes and roasted onions, with lots of good Chilean wine are a big part of my child memories.
My mom owned a very popular and successful sandwich restaurant, during my whole childhood; I was often there but of course I was too little to do anything else than folding napkins. Still, I have memories of huge pots with meats boiling, plates with mashed avocado and homemade mayo, everything ready to be piled up in gorgeous, colorful sandwiches. Every now and then I make them, following my mom's rules and directions and it is the BEST thing ever. Sandwiches are very popular in Chile: they are huge, nutritious and full of fresh veggies, mayo and meats.
So, I guess my passion for cooking comes from all sides: Granma Techy inspiration, my mom's food business side and my dad's passion for grilling and big cooking projects as paella. Everybody cooks in my family; my two older brothers also have their own specialties, and when we all get together, it is indeed a feast.