Who am I?

Rugelach, Chocolate, Hazelnuts, Dessert, Pastry, Pastries, Israel, Israeli Cuisine, Decadence, DecadentHello! My name is Gamalier Maldonado, but you can call me Gamma, as all my friends do. I am 33 years old and I live in the tropics, on the beautiful Caribbean Island of Puerto Rico. Above all, I am a food enthusiast and wine lover. But I’ve done some other very interesting things with my life so far. I had a successful massage therapy practice for about 8 years until a hand injury forced me to detour into another path. Luckily, I was already back at college when that happened, and almost immediately I got a job doing antibiotic and cancer therapy research, at a Medicinal Chemistry and Microbiology Laboratory. On May 2014 I got my Biomedical Sciences Degree, Suma Cum Laude, pat on my back . Doing that was more fun than I ever imagined. 

With the pivotal moments of graduation also came decision making time. What to do? What to do? I love Science, Lab work, Research, and Studying. But, I also love Cooking, Recipes and Food. While I was in college and working as a scientist, I was so busy that I had no time to cook at all. While that happened, my constant dream was for vacation time just to be able to get my hands dirty with flour, feel the heat of the oven and hear the sounds of my knife against the chopping board while I cut veggies and sliced meats. Is it possible to find a way to merge both cooking and researching? Art and Science? 

My husband owns a wine bar and restaurant, so I know first hand what that involves. It is exciting yes, but for me, there’s something really special about home cooking, something magical. At home, for entertaining or just for my family, the planning of a menu is different and more versatile. You cook whatever pleases you and with whatever ingredient seemed more appealing at the market that day. Is it cold outside? You make a soup, or a hearty stew with freshly baked bread. Is it warm? Spanish gazpacho, fruit salads, fish and seafood. Am I happy, sad, thoughtful, creative or playful? Cookies, Chocolate Cake, Roasted Lamb or a three-day long recipe for the more tender and delicious Short Ribs. All of that gets into my cooking. Kneading some dough always helps to release anger and also to increase happiness. Making time-consuming stews helps me pour into them lots of love for my dear ones. It amazes me how powerful a meal can be, it brings people together, has the power to warm hearts and tighten friendly bonds, it can fill hearts with joy and also fix you up if sick.

My motto? Follow your heart. The kitchen: that’s where my heart is. So, for the last 3 months I’ve been working, researching and studying. But this time, is not about pathologies or bewildered cells, is about happy things, food and culture. I’ve also been cooking, photographing, editing, writing and building up this blog to share the accounts of my food adventures. I’ve decided to dedicate a year entirely to cooking. To explore the culinary traditions of the world as a way to enhance my recipe repertoire and travel the world using my kitchen as a vehicle. Who knows where this road might lead me, but for the time being, I’ll simply enjoy the view, the food and the good company. So welcome my friends, pack lightly and sharpen your knifes. This will certainly be a fun ride!