Ingrid Hoffmann calls herself a professional eater. (Aren't we all?) But her English and Spanish-speaking fans like to refer to her as Chef Ingrid Hoffmann on her weekly one-hour lifestyle cooking show, "Delicioso."
Hoffmann was raised in Colombia and the Netherlands, and later moved to Miami, where she opened the high-end fashion boutique La Capricieuse in Coconut Grove. She then opened Rocca, the first restaurant to offer tabletop cooking a la heated lava rocks.
She'd been all over local television morning shows until Galavision scooped her up for her first cooking show, "Delicioso with Ingrid Hoffmann," which initially launched in Latin America but also began appearing on the Food Network in 2007. She published her cookbook in 2008 in both English and Spanish, "Simply Delicioso: A Collection Of Everyday Recipes with a Latin Twist" (Delicioso: Una Coleccion de Mis Recetas Favoritas con Sabor Latino).
Hoffmann is also giving back to the community. She is currently a board member of New York City's Food and Education Fund and Miami's Amigos for Kids, as well as a supporter of Manhattan's Food and Finance High School, the Believe for Colombia Foundation and the Humane Society of Greater Miami.
Along with her show "Simply Delicioso" on the Cooking Channel, Hoffmann has a one-hour cooking and lifestyle show on Telefutura called "Delicioso," which airs on Saturdays at 10 a.m. ET. Her cookware line, Simply Delicioso by TFal, can be found on HSN.com.
HuffPost squeezed into Hoffmann's busy schedule to gab about all things Miami, Afro-Caribbean Turkey and what in the world to do with turkey leftovers!
Did you always want to be a chef, what inspired you to make that decision?
I never intended to become a chef. More than a chef, I consider myself a professional eater who has always loved cooking for and feeding people. To me, that is an act of love and nurture for my loved ones and friends.
What are your favorite dishes to make?
I love making my dad's brandied shrimp recipe, actually all seafood dishes.
Which dishes are your biggest challenges and why?
My style of cooking is that of simple and delicious recipes that do not require the knowledge of elaborate techniques and hours of slaving in the kitchen. Therefore, any dish that isn't like that is a challenge for me. I have a short attention span, I want to cook a delicioso meal as quick as possible so that I can eat it as quick as possible!
If you weren't a chef, what other profession would you have chosen?
There is a lot I see myself being -- an architect, interior designer, race car driver -- but there is nothing I love more than being a professional eater!
Who are your favorite chefs and why?
Mom for sure! The rest are too many to name. Don't put me on that spot, might get a few friends upset!
Right now you live in Miami -- what are your "go-to" restaurants?
In Miami, I love all types of cuisine, so here is my current go-to restaurant list for Miami: Michaels Geniune Food & Drink, Zuma, Meat Market, Michi's, Salmon Salmon (Peruvian), Monserrate (Colombian).
Do you combine both cultures for Thanksgiving? Plans for Thanksgiving? Are you in charge of Thanksgiving?
When I was growing up we never celebrated Thanksgiving. It wasn't until we moved to the U.S. that we adopted this holiday. I love it because it is a great excuse to get all the family together and celebrate all of our blessings. We generally do my moms Afro-Caribbean Turkey and three-meat stuffing, which is our tradition for Christmas. I am not particularly in charge on Thanksgiving -- my mom, my sisters and I all gather in the kitchen to cook the meal.
Can you share some tips on what to do with turkey leftovers?
I love making empanadas with my leftovers. I simply mix the sweet potato and turkey leftovers with some fresh sage butter and fill store-bought empanada discs with that mixture. I also like to make turkey tamales.
Leftover Turkey Shepherds Pie
4 cups mashed yucca
2 cups shredded turkey or meat stuffing
To make mashed yucca:
2 ½ to 3 lbs. frozen yucca
½ cup milk
¾ cup melted butter
4 large garlic cloves, mashed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons salt
Paprika for Garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large pot, bring 8 to 10 cups water to a rolling boil. Add the salt and the yucca pieces, cover and let cook until very tender, approximately 30 to 40 minutes.
In a small skillet, while boiling the yucca, place the olive oil, ¼ cup of the butter and the garlic and sautee for 2 minutes. Add the lime juice and cook for 1 minute more. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Drain yucca and remove the vein that is in the middle of the pieces and looks like a cord. It is white, and will stand out from the rest of the yucca. Not all pieces will have a vein. While hot, mash with a potato masher, until smooth. Add the milk and the remaining ½ cup of the butter, mixing well. Add the garlic mixture, stirring until well combined and smooth
Line the walls and bottom of a 2-quart, 8-inch square Pyrex or glass pan with the mashed yucca. Add the turkey/stuffing and top it with the rest of the mashed yucca. Gently brush top with a fork and sprinkle with paprika.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is brown and heated through.