Hola! I’m so happy to be part of Small Bites, and for the opportunity to bring you tastes and tales of Latin cuisine.
Maybe it was the dinner parties my mom always threw — or the hours I spent prepping and cooking alongside her (and then on my own!). Or maybe it was array of fabulous dishes that my family sampled in New York City’s richly diverse restaurants, but I’ve loved creating, savoring, and sharing food for as long as I can remember. Living in Spain, and later in Peru, also greatly influenced my life. These years abroad not only taught me Spanish — and about living in different countries—but also introduced me to teaching English as a second language, which I’ve done, mostly in the US, for the past 20-plus (yikes!) years. I’ve authored two cocktail/tapas books, Mambo Mixers and Calypso Coolers, coauthored more than 15 others (mostly food related!), and raised two children.
Now I’m a college administrator (assistant director for Westchester Community College’s English Language Institute), ESL teacher, cooking teacher, and food writer. I regularly travel throughout the Americas to give workshops to teachers on the subject of teaching writing. I also teach cooking here at home — and have been a regular guest on the Spanish-language networks Univision and Telemundo. My belief in food — and the power of food — is far reaching, and is married with another one: the power of stories. I’m sure that if we could all sit down and have meals together, sharing both tastes and tales, we’d have peace on earth.
I live and work in Southern Westchester, and look forward to sharing my exploration of Latin Cuisine with you! I will feature recipes, restaurant reviews, interviews with Latin-style chefs (some known, some not!), information about Latin-style ingredients and spices, and more. My goal is to guide you—bite by bite—into this culture, or perhaps reintroduce to your roots, or those of your neighbors!
Arlen Gargagliano blogs about her food travels and explorations in In the Kitchen with Arlen as well as on Facebook. She’s a featured chef/author on Cookstr.com, and regularly teaches classes at Don Coqui in New Rochelle. Her website is arleng.com. Arlen, who has coauthored books with many, inncluding 4 with local Chef/Restaurateur, Rafael Palomino, has also written her own cocktail and appetizer books: Mambo Mixers and Calypso Coolers.