A couple of months ago Chowzter, that international food website that spurs around-the-world feeding frenzies, interviewed the founder of Flavors of Bogota (that’s me). They asked me what got me interested in food, how in the world I wound up living in South America, and if I really use my kitchen at home.
Chowzter: What took you from Philadelphia to South America?
Karen: I left the United States to do a volunteer educational work in South America. A few years later, I fell in love with a Colombian man who later became my husband, and we have stayed in South America.
Chowzter: What sparked your love of food? Earliest food memories?
Karen: My mom was a foodie back before being a foodie was popular. I remember watching her developing new recipes for her bakery, and also for dinner parties and for our family; those were my first experiences with the rewards and pleasures of tasty dishes.
But I didn’t take a serious interest in cooking until I met husband-to-be, Peter; he was chef in a kitchen where I was the baker, and he was my go-to man for all of my baking woes. In time, he simply became my go-to man in life. His love of food, his readiness to try anything (quite literally!), his interest in the unusual and unknown, opened my eyes to a whole new culinary world.
Chowzter: What role does food play in your life? Do you cook? Do you eat out often?
Karen: Since my husband is a chef, we tend to eat at home. We love the aromas and tastes of simple ingredients as they are mixed together, or changed by heat or cold. There’s nothing better than a house that smells like fresh-baked bread or cookies, or the comfort of a warm kitchen on a chilly Bogota afternoon. No restaurant will give you that sense of home.
Of course, we also get out to restaurants to taste new ideas presented by the creative chefs here in Bogota.
Chowzter: What publications and news media have your reviews and expertise been featured in?
Karen: My articles have been published in CNN, Esquire, Casa Viva Cocina (Colombia’s top cooking magazine) and about 15 other publications. For two years I had a regular restaurant review column in The City Paper, at the time Bogota’s only English-language newspaper. I also worked with the Lure team to write and edit the Living in Bogota expat guide, a beautiful 234-page book with advice on everything about expat life – including a good restaurant section.
Chowzter: What do you envision doing five years from now?
Karen: Since the Bogota food scene is growing at an exciting rate, five years from now I would like to be doing the same thing I’m doing now: eating my way through all the new restaurants in a city that continues to thrill me.
Chowzter: How can people reading your profile contact you?
My email is: karen (at) FlavorsofBogota.com.
Or through Twitter.