In a previous post, I spoke about how Teresa Tirado was my #Foodie hero. Everyone that is a good cook, has someone who's cooking style inspires them and matches their taste buds. And even those whom cooking is not their ministry, at least has someone who they love visiting for dinner. For Teresa, that person was her grandmother. Take a look at my interview with her, as I dig deep into when she discovered her love for food and cooking...
LAUREN: When did you discover your love for food?
TERESA: I first discovered my love for food at a very young age. No, I was not the fat kid, actually I was the opposite. I was very small and petite. My grandmother raised me and that made times hard on my family. We didn't always have the best of food, but what we had grandma would make it taste amazing! I would get off the school bus wondering what she had prepared for dinner with the scraps that were in the refrigerator. As I got older and times got better (more resources and income) my grandmother and myself were able to splurge a little more with recipes and ingredients but never too far away from the home cooking we loved.
LAUREN: When did you learn how to cook, and who taught you?
TERESA: My grandmother taught me how to cook. She was very old school. Dinner was ready at 3pm every day. She told me one day, "I'm not going to always be around to cook for you so its best you learn now." She was right. I began to cook at the age of 9.
LAUREN: What was the first thing you learned how to cook?
TERESA: The first thing I learn how to cook was more like a trial and error. See the thing about my grandmother was she loved her liquor. One-day grandma had gotten drunk and I was hungry. I look in the refrigerator and saw the neck bones she was planning on cooking for dinner. I washed them like I had seen her do on numerous occasions and put them in the oven. About 2 and a half hours later, we had BBQ neck bones. I remember my grandma telling me "Resa, when I woke up, I ate all those neck bones you had cooked." That made me proud. I was only 9.
LAUREN: What is your favorite thing(s) to cook now?
TERESA: My favorite thing to cook, umm, that's a hard one but I would have to say macaroni and cheese. It has taken me years to perfect my recipe. I take pride in doing my cheese sauce from scratch. I still however experiment with different cheeses but I'm still in love with my sharp cheddar. I enjoy cooking soul food. I like just getting in the kitchen on a Sunday and banging those pots and pans until something wonderful is in them.
LAUREN: How did you learn so many cooking tricks and tips outside those your grandmother showed you?
TERESA: I learned cooking tips from people. Just everyday people. Neighbors, co-workers, blogs, The Food Network. I just listen, asked questions, learn, and tweak it to make it my own.
LAUREN: If you could cook or eat something every day what would it be?
TERESA: If I could eat something every day I would say it would have to be seafood. I love the freshness of seafood. Salmon, shrimp, crab legs, lobster. They are just so fresh and flavorful.
LAUREN: If you could be a professional chef for a living would you? Why or why not?
TERESA: When I was in high school I was accepted to Johnson and Wales in Rhode Island. I didn't go. I didn't want to leave grandma alone and move so far away but at the same time it is something about the techniques and the formalities of being a professional chef that I don't think I would enjoy. To me, it takes the fun out of cooking. So, to answer the question, I would not want to be a professional chef.
LAUREN: If you had to describe how food made you feel; how would you?
TERESA: Food makes me feel loved and at home. I know it sounds weird but it’s something about a good plate of food that makes me really happy. I go back to being that little girl watching her grandma stir a pot of beans wondering will they every get ready. I love watching my husband go back for seconds and sometimes even thirds. I feel accomplished like yeah I did that, I put that smile on his face. Food is my happy place.
LAUREN: Are you a meal planner or a spare of the moment cooker?
TERESA: I like to be a meal planner but as we all know life doesn't always go as planned. Even sometimes when I plan to cook something it may turn into something else.
LAUREN: What is your favorite restaurant and/or types of food?
TERESA: My favorite restaurant would be this little diner my husband and I just discovered called the Scrambled! O MY GOODNESS, DELISH! My favorite type of food is...YOU GUESS IT! Soul food! Good 'ol slap yo momma down home cooking, fish may fry in the kitchen, grits may burn on the grill, SOUL FOOD!!
Thanks Teresa, it looks like we know a place you will be reviewing for the blog soon! Everyone stay tuned for it!