Trinidadian doubles changed Erica’s taste buds forever
Get to know Erica in this Q&A, and get her “Vegan Jerk Alfredo w/ Jackfruit and Veggies” SATURDAY (6/13) 10-2:30PM and SUNDAY (6/14) 11-6PM!
Q: What’s your cooking style?
Erica: The food that I make is plant-based and vegan. I started this lifestyle 3 years ago and was inspired by an animals and ethics class I took in college. I’ve taken what I’ve learned through the years in cooking, flavor, and creativity and paired that with the knowledge I’ve gained on food and health, to make not only flavorful, but health conscious meals. Recreating and reinventing the food I love most, without sacrificing flavor and nourishing our bodies in the process.
Q: Where did you grow up and what kind of food did you grow up with?
Erica: I grew up in Cleveland, OH. Typical middle class suburban family. Health was not really a thought growing up. We ate a lot of fried chicken (and fried everything), meats, dairy, processed foods, sugar, rice and potatoes, etc. We ate the way most American families eat and thought nothing about it. I was however, always open to trying new foods and loved trying foods from other cultures.
Q: What’s your favorite food memory?
Erica: My favorite food memory was a few years ago in Toronto. My cousins got me my first Trinidadian double, and it changed my taste buds forever. That was my first experience with West Indian food and I wanted nothing else after that. It was the best flavors I’d ever tasted in my life! A sloppy type of sandwich which in my opinion is the best tasting food. The type of bread they use was so soft and fluffy. You’d never think of it as a chickpea pita sandwich but that’s kind of what it is. Best of all, the dish is naturally vegan! I dream of doubles all the time and have been on the hunt for them in Chicago ever since. No luck yet!
Q: Anything else we should know about you and your cooking?
Erica: My food is simple, responsible, healthy, and flavorful. I promote wellness and sustainability. I have always enjoyed cooking, and now I enjoy it in a new and fulfilling way by showing people you can still eat the things you love, while also being health conscious. There’s an alternative to everything. I am actively trying to change our view of food and I’m using Shmeal to help me reach that goal. You can see more of my work on my Instagram page @eatlike_e