Latin chef and TV personality Doreen Colondres has always been a passionate lover of food and culture, and she's turned that into her career as the founder of The Kitchen Doesn't Bite, the host of her own show, Boricuas, as well as two daily cooking segments entitled “Hola Martin” and “Tu Vida Más Simple” on Fox’s Utilisima Network. As if that's not enough, she's also the Food Editor for Siempre Mujer.
Growing up in Puerto Rico, it was her heritage, family, and powerful presence of life in the kitchen that brought Colondres to where she is today.
“My grandfathers from both sides of the family loved to be in the kitchen,” says Colondres of her ties to cooking. “My paternal grandfather had catering companies and owned a bakery. Everything from dinners, get togethers, and trips revolved around food,” she continues.
In a house where everything was made from scratch, Colondres appreciated the importance of cooking and considered it her favorite hobby. Her favorite food was, and still is to this day, Puerto Rican pork, flavored with salt, pepper, oregano, a lot of garlic, and sometimes, achiote.
“I was always into food and even as a child. I knew how important it was to be healthy,” she says.
Once grown, Colondres moved to Miami and began working in marketing, but about five years ago, the pull toward food brought her back to her roots, and she decided to make a move into the food business full time.
“I went to school to be more professional in the industry. Learning is like a drug for me,” says Colondres.
In fact, she started taking food education more seriously because she saw her friends intimidated by getting into the kitchen. Enter: La Cocina No Muerde aka The Kitchen Doesn't Bite, Colondres’ dream project and website, which provides tips and lessons for those too afraid to touch a knife. A tool for the uninitiated, the site shows want-to-be cooks how to relax and have fun in the kitchen.
“I created a website five years ago to share my thoughts, likes, and inspirations,” she says.
But The Kitchen Doesn't Bite is all that and more. One section is dedicated to Ñaquis” or “little bites.” Here, Colondres presents two ingredients and provides more information on how to clean, prepare and cook the featured ingredients. Her favorite part of the website is the section reserved for her other passion, travel.
“The Paseando section includes stories from my trips. Whenever I travel, I try and share my stories,” she says. “I think it’s totally impossible to cook something from a country if you’ve never been there.”
In keeping with that theory, Colondres has traveled all over Spain, Mexico (her two favorites), the Caribbean, and Ecuador, doing research and getting new ideas for recipes. She believes that going directly to the country is the best lesson on earth.
“Two years ago I fell in love with Ecuadorian food. I couldn’t promote it until I had visited there,” she says. “That’s the key to getting people involved and to being creative and passionate; you open their imaginations.”
Perhaps the most endearing quality about Colondres is her natural love and appreciation for her craft.
“Cooking is simple, it’s good for your health and it’s fun,” she says. “I try to encourage my viewers to just have fun.”
The chef has a few favorite ingredients in her own kitchen. Along with kosher salt, Colondres loves to cook with olive oil. She even collects them from around the world.
"They’re [olive oils] so simple, so they allow you to get creative. There are so many different types; some are buttery, spicy, and others are totally out there,” she says.
When asked about her future plans, Colondres mentions a busy schedule.
“I would consider opening a restaurant in the future, but not right now,” she says. “I want to finish my books, the website, and I have a few merchandising plans in the works. I love the industry, but I have my priorities set for now with all that’s going on,” says Colondres.