Flor took an unexpected route to becoming a soul food chef – she actually trained as a lawyer and spent time working as a trader. “Cooking was a hobby for me. I was passionate about it, but I didn’t expect to make a career from it.”
She spent time working away from Gijón, but would return to spend time with family. Many happy memories were made around the table, as well as spending time in nature, walking among the farms. She longed for the simpler existence that people have in the coastal city, where the land and animals are valued, even by the youth.
After the financial crash in 2008, Flor and her husband decided it was time to pursue an easier pace of life. They moved back to Gijón and she began cooking regularly, first for friends and then for events.
“A friend of mine has this beautiful theater space in the center of Gijón. She began running immersive evenings with dinner, comedy and improv for single people, where everyone would get involved. I learned how to cook for groups of people, sometimes up to 25 in one sitting.”
Her devotion to gastronomy was further fuelled by exotic trips to Thailand and India, discovering the many spices and methods used in cooking. Flor remarks, “in fact, I found that the ways that dishes are prepared is similar to here in Asturias – the main difference is the spices used.” She also mentions bringing home suitcases of spices to experiment with in her own kitchen.
In 2016, Flor achieved a formal chef qualification, but she declares, “this was simply following what I want to do,” in contrast to her earlier studies.