Getting Ingrid Hoffmann to slow down isn’t easy. The bubbly, Colombian-American host of Simply Delicioso on the Cooking Channel and Delicioso on Univision also has a weekly spot on that channel’s Despierta America. She writes a monthly column for Delta Sky Magazine. She is readying a colorful Latin America-inspired line of cookware, kitchen gadgets, and accessories for launch in the late summer/early fall of 2013. Working around all these commitments, Hoffmann makes guest appearances on popular talk, cooking shows, such as ABC’s The Taste, and does demonstrations at food, wine and spirits festivals.
It’s enough to make you want to sit down and take a deep breath. Not that she does—when we recently got her on the phone for a chat, we asked her one question and didn’t have to prompt her with another one for 30 minutes. Hoffmann is as vibrant and energetic via technology as she is on television.
But slow down she did when writing her newly released cookbook, Latin D'Lite: Delicious Latin Recipes with a Healthy Twist, that, like Ingrid’s show, has a Spanish-speaking edition, Latin D'Lite: Deliciosas Recetas Latinas con un Toque Saludable. In fact, it took her three-and-a-half years of writing and testing before she was satisfied with the results.
"I’m not one of those chefs who puts out a cookbook every year, who’s not doing it by themselves,” she says. “Even when my team is telling me that I need a product out there. It’s about taking the time to do it right. For me, the most fun of what I do is creating recipes and tinkering with them. We test and re-test, then it goes out to a professional kitchen and comes back with comments on it. That way we always know our recipes. It’s the most important thing.”
Hoffmann not only personally tested her recipes while creating the book, she used them to revamp her health—something else she wanted to get right. Diagnosed with an inflammatory illness, the chef “consulted with many doctors, nutritionists. Then I started to do my own thing, to do it by omission. Inflammation is often a reaction to food, so I started to get sugar out of my diet as much as possible,” she says. “It brought me back to eating food made from scratch and not out of packages. It’s the philosophy of how my dad always ate—real food as opposed to chemicals that our bodies don’t recognize.”