Check out who’s joining us for our 10th anniversary conference in New Orleans for #IFBC18 from August 24-26 on the IFBC18 Registration page and get to know a featured #IFBC18 blogger below. Not yet registered? Don’t worry, there’s still time. Click the link to the right to sign-up today!
Already registered for #IFBC18 and want to be our featured blogger? Send an email to Kristy for more information.
Featured #IFBC18 Blogger – Norida Torriente
What’s the name of your blog?
The name of my blog is Buen Provecho Amigos which is essentially “bon apétit ami” or “enjoy your meal, friend.”
When did you first start blogging?
I started my blog towards the end of 2010, however, I was very irregular as to how often I would publish, with long stretches (think years) of silence. With the encouragement of a good friend, I started to blog regularly last summer as a way to keep me distracted as my marriage was ending. I made a promise to myself that if I blogged at least once a week during the past year that I would attend a food blogger’s conference as a reward to myself.
What inspired you to become a food blogger?
When I first started the blog in 2010, I had just lost a good friend to cancer and had a major pregnancy loss. For the first time in my life I was feeling my mortality and started to think what I would like to share with my children and niece. I started the blog with the intention of capturing family recipes and memories around specific meals, but I’ve expanded the blog to include the occasional restaurant review and recipe development.
What’s your favorite recipe?
My absolute all-time favorite recipe is Martha Stewart’s Fresh Ham with Green-Herb Paste. I first saw it in the April 1999 issue of Martha Stewart Living and started making it for Christmas. Among Cubans, roasted pork, or lechón asado, is typically served at Christmas and during other celebrations. I am not a big fan of cured ham for formal dinners—it feels a little too much like lunch meat to me. However, a fresh ham is a different story entirely, especially when prepared with the skin on to protect the layer of fat on the pork flesh, guaranteeing a very moist and rich meal. Stewart’s recipe takes the fresh ham to a whole other level. Her green paste of fresh rosemary, oregano, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper wedged into slits cut in the skin makes the look so elegant and taste so good.
As a food blogger, do you have any mentors or sources of inspiration?
Ruth Reichel is perhaps my biggest influence for my blog. Her memoir, Tender at the Bone, made me start to think how central food is to our lives. More than just sustenance, a shared meal, cooking for friends and family are expressions of friendship and love. By writing about food, I am able to explore themes of friendship and love, as well as other emotions and situations with food as the framework. And occasionally I have a good recipe to share.
What’s your favorite time of year to cook?
My favorite time of year to cook is the holiday season, Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s like a cook’s Super Bowl. For the first 13 years of my life I was an only child to immigrant parents who were not close to the family that was here in the U.S. They did their best to emulate American tradition with the exception of one notable one—there was no extended family to share in our holidays. When I got married, I vowed to make the holidays as festive as I could for my parents and little sister.
What would you tell those just starting to blog or thinking about blogging?
I would encourage someone who is starting or thinking about blogging to focus on one person that you want to share your story. I often think of what I want my children to know or what I would share with a good friend. When I take this approach, I feel like it makes my writing more intimate and personal.
What is your favorite book, movie or song?
I cannot narrow down my favorite books to just one, so I will give you three.
Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba by Tom Gjelten. Not many people realize that Bacardi is the largest, family-owned spirits company in the world and its origins are Cuban. Spanning over 150 years, Gjelten tells the history of Cuba through the Bacardi family and their rise as rum producers and activists for Cuban self-governance until the Castro regime seized all private businesses and properties, forcing the family flee and establish the business center in Puerto Rico.
What is the What by Dave Eggers. It is essentially a biography of Valentino Achak Deng, a Sudanese lost boy. His perseverance and will to survive is truly inspirational. I was fortunate to hear Eggers and Deng speak about the book at the University of Maryland the year it was required reading for all incoming freshmen.
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. My favorite work of fiction, The Poisonwood Bible tells the story of a crazed evangelist minister who drags his wife and daughters on a missionary assignment to the Congo in the late 50s resulting in tragedy.
Where is your favorite vacation destination?
My favorite vacation destination is San Francisco-Napa-Sonoma area. I am a city girl who loves the outdoors and good food. I can’t think of a part of the country that can hold my interest the way this part of the country does.
Is there a food or ingredient you can’t stand?
Cilantro. I HATE cilantro. People ask me all the time whether I think it tastes like soap. I tell them soap tastes better.
Thank you Norida for sharing! We look forward to meeting you in New Orleans next week. In the meantime, make sure to follow Norida on her social accounts.