Welcome to The Kickchen. My culinary playground.
Ever since I could remember, I was into food because of how it made people feel. Food was always an integral part of my family. I can’t remember a single night where we all did not sit together at the table for dinner. The meals were always humble, filling, and delicious. I did not notice this then, but food was always something that brought us together. Growing up, my abuelita was in charge of the kitchen at our local church. It was a decent size commercial space that served the community and also the less fortunate. My fondest memories of food were her taking me with her for service and showing me how to work a fryer at age 8 and being in charge of the papas rellenas – a traditional Peruvian dish made of mashed yellow potatoes stuffed with ground beef, onions, peppers, boiled egg, raisins, deep fried to golden perfection and topped with an onion salsa. I recall one specific day standing behind the buffet style window, proudly serving my dish to those who were not fortunate enough to have a warm meal that day. It was at that very moment, it hit me. Food was so much more. Food was a way to connect to those around you whom you may not have crossed paths with before. It brings a sense of community in a point in time when you may feel you don’t belong to one. Food is family. Food is love.
Ever since I could remember, I was into kicks because of how it made people feel. To me, sneakers were always an integral part of fashion and sport. Growing up playing several sports, there was no easier way to connect to your favorite superstar than with his or her footwear. It gave you a sense of confidence to know you had on the same pair of kicks Michael Jordan, John McEnroe, and Pele had on. You could swear they even made you play like them. Nike wanted you to believe that with their, “I wanna be like Mike” campaign, so it HAD to be true. I never really asked my parents for the newest pair of Nikes. I was always happy to have what I had until the first time I saw the Air Jordan 3 in the “black cement” colorway. The midsole proudly displayed the famous Nike air bubble – a first for the Jordan line. The uppers, in solid and tumbled black leather with a touch of white and red, matched his Bulls’ uniform precisely. Lastly, the elephant print paneling were just enough to have my jaw drop. I wanted them. I needed them. I still recall my mother’s reaction. “How much?! For a pair of sneakers? ESTAS LOCO?!?!” With that, I realized the life of a sneakerhead was not in my cards. Not until I moved out and had a steady job, did I let my aspirations take flight. The smell of the leather, the way the shoe hugged your foot, and the way your jeans fell perfectly in between your sock and the branded tongue are just a few things you remember when you wear that one pair for the first time. That feeling is one of a kind.
Anyone can cook. But it is here where I set myself apart by colliding my two distinct worlds; my passion and my hobby. Thanks for joining me.
Eat well. Live fresh.
– The Kickchen