Hola! ¿Que tál? I’m Bernie, author of Herencia Cookbook.
How I Was Raised
I was born and raised in South East Los Angeles, where I currently reside. I am the youngest of 5 children, and I was raised by a Salvadorian-American mother and Mexican-American father. My parents actually met in SELA, in English school. What I admire most about my parents is that they did their best to achieve the American Dream. And, they succeeded in doing so.
My siblings and I grew up in a working-class neighborhood, in a middle-class home. It was through hard work and determination that my parents provided for us. They achieved all this and so much more, while still maintaining their culture and staying in touch with their roots. They gracefully balanced dual identities. These examples and experiences shaped me into who I am today.
When I think back to my childhood home, I recall a house full of people, delicious food, and lots of love. The Latin-fusion recipes that I grew up eating greatly influenced what I now like to call my SalviMex cooking.
Nowadays, I try my best to cook authentic food, with lots of flavor and a healthy twist. After all, I want my loved ones to live as long as possible, and as comfortably as possible. If I want them to eat healthier, I must lead by example.
My Life Today
As an adult now, I am happily married to my Salvadorian-American husband who absolutely loves my SalviMex cooking. In our free time, we enjoy traveling (especially to Latin America) and spending time with our families. We also spend our time working out in our home gym, eating home-cooked meals together, and sipping on different high-quality tequilas. Lately, though, we have put a halt on our tequila tasting, as I gave birth to our first child this summer.
I began my career in the beauty industry as a makeup artist. I love the beauty industry and it has been so good to me. But, I could not stay away from pursuing my passion for highlighting the beauty of being a home cook of authentic recipes. It is so satisfying when I add my own personal twist to a classic recipe and it tastes delicious.
Modern Hacks & Authentic Flavor
It is an art to come home, after working all day and make a traditional recipe that fits into my modern lifestyle. Why use a molcajete when I’ve got a Nutribullet? These hands are tired after working all day, after all! Most satisfying of all is when I make a meal that tastes authentic and is slightly healthier than what I grew up eating. That, to me, is where the most magic lies. I do not have to choose between health or flavor. I can have it all, right on my plate.
Speaking of having it all, that is a huge priority of mine. The most important part of my life, to me, is having it all on my terms, such as balancing the home-cooked meals, career, marriage, family life, social life and “me time,” all while wearing lipstick and winged liner, my signature look. It isn’t always easy, but it is possible and so worth it.
I am happiest when I have my friends and loved ones over for good food and good tequila. As hostess, I do my best to tell funny jokes, keep the beverages flowing, and ensure everyone feels full and welcome. Normally, I will have music playing, perhaps it is cumbias, Rock en Espanol or some boleros, depending on the mood I am going for. I want always to live a healthy and successful lifestyle, leading by example and surrounded by what makes my culture and life so rich: food, family, music, and beauty…and maybe a little tequila! 😉
Herencia Cookbook is currently available for sale on Amazon.