Valentina grew up eating this lasagna every New Year’s Eve
Get to know Valentina in this Q&A and get her “Empanadas” on TUESDAY (5/14) from 4-9PM and “Chicken lasagna” on WEDNESDAY (5/15) from 4-10PM in Lakeview!
Q: What’s your cooking background?
Valentina: I learned to cook through my dad, who has always loved to cook. I used to spend time with him in the kitchen, learning about his parents’ recipes and his “own“ techniques. When I left home 5 years ago, I knew I needed to place everything on practice, and began to take my cooking a step forward.
Living in Germany and Sweden helped me develop my cooking skills, learning from home cooks I had the chance to meet, who were used to ingredients totally different from what I was used to. My whole knowledge and skills have been gained through personal experiences, and longtime family recipes, influenced primarily by Latin American, German, and Scandinavian home cook culture.
Q: What can you tell us about the dish you’re making and what inspired it?
Valentina: The first dish I’m presenting is a long time lasagna recipe, which began with my grandmother’s grandmother.
The family’s traditional spices mix has been used in this recipe for more than a century now. It is the perfect combination between sweet and acid, perfect to enjoy with a glass of wine, a beer, or just a cold and refreshing glass of water.
Q: Where did you grow up and what kind of food did you grow up with?
Valentina: Born in the USA, we moved to Colombia when I was 13 years old. Colombians’ gastronomic and overall culture nurtured my life throughout my teenage years. When I think of Colombia’s food, bright colors and freshness come to my mind. It highly influenced my cooking.
Q: Who do you think about when you make this dish? What does it remind you of?
Valentina: New Year’s Eve always comes to my mind when I eat this lasagna. My favorite food memory is eating the lasagna, every New Year’s Eve with my family. I think on my grandmother and her family who I didn’t get to know.
Q: Anything else we should know about you and your cooking?
Valentina: I’m happy to share with you the dishes I love to cook, hoping you enjoy them as well.