Most people have childhood memories of going with their parents to the supermarket, hanging off the cart, a last minute effort to get some candy in the checkout aisle. I don’t have any of these memories. Growing up, my mother and grandmother bought everything locally sourced. While most children long to play outside with their friends on weekend afternoons, I was with my mother at the farmers market, selecting produce for the upcoming week’s meals. Every weekend was reserved for the local farmers market, where we would purchase vegetables and meats to complete family recipes. Also having a green thumb, my mother would buy her flowers and herbs there too, which would flourish on the farm throughout the long Honduran summers. Years later, I am grateful for these traditions and recipes that have been passed down through weekend afternoons with the women in my family. They’re part of my heritage.
One of my most vivid childhood memories is of waking up at the crack of dawn to a rooster at my window, informing me of the upcoming day’s tasks. While this is not everyone’s preferred method of alarms, I have found this memory brings back the nostalgia of growing up with 8 strong sisters. Yes, ten women. In one house, all of us cooks. Being the baby of the family, you can imagine the struggle of trying to assert my way around the kitchen. The smell of hot coffee in a clay pot on the stove, the wafting aroma of Semitas as they baked in the oven, and the sound of almost a dozen women all talking at once as they created meals for the family. This is how my love of cooking began. I had no other choice but to become a chef. This is how Alma was born.