My name is Sonia Mendez Garcia. Born and raised in California. Lived in Houston, Texas, where my family owned a taqueria, during the 80’s. I call central New York my home. My parents Ramiro and Blanca were born in Monterrey, Mexico and raised a family of five girls and three boys. The kitchen was always a focal point in our house. Both of my parents cooked, but mom did most of the cooking, seven days a week. I learned the basics early on, it was in the 90’s that I made it my goal to learn the recipes of my family, to continue the legacy of my parents, Ramiro and Blanca.
One of my favorite things to do is teach a cooking class. It’s loud, exciting, hot, fun and loud! Lol! It’s really great!
Technically, this is La Piñita en La Cocina, ha, ha, ha! I used to hide under the sink in the kitchen and play hide and seek with my Dad. He used to tell me this story all the time. He would ask in Spanish, “Donde esta la piñita?” (Where is the piñita). He said I would just get this big grin on my face thinking he could not see me….I loved those stories from my Dad .
I am at the bottom left….with the fly away hair!
The name La Piña en la Cocina came from my childhood name. my Dad, Ramiro, had nicknames for all of his kids. Mine was “la piñita” or little pineapple. When I was a toddler, my hair was very light brown and would stick straight up and out all over the place, LOl! So for my whole life I was and still known as la piñita or la piña, ha ha…all grown up.
My Mom’s family above….
It became even more important to accomplish this, when I lost my parents a few years back. after 15 years, I was blessed to be able to return to Monterrey in 2011, where I connected with my extended family. It was like I had never left. The food was even more amazing and vibrant than I remembered. For over a year, I was an author and contributor at Que Rica Vida (General Mills). It was exciting and a great learning experience for me. For five years I was the Resident Chef on the Hispanic Kitchen site. I developed 10 recipes a months for most of those years. I spend my days developing new recipes as well as recreating traditional recipes with my added twist. It has been a real blessing and the most rewarding experience. I am looking forward to what the future holds for me! The journey continues. Currently I am devoting my full time, with the occasional brand work, to my blog La Piña en La Cocina.