Ingrid Hoffmann Gets the 10 Questions

Now here's a chef who knows the meaning of caliente. For those of you who may not recognize this hometown girl (which rock have you been living under, huh?), she's the host of Food Network's Simply Delicioso, as well as Galavision/Univision's hit series, Delicioso, and she's authored cookbooks of the same names. Or perhaps you recently spotted her premiering a new, vivid kitchen products collection with a Latin twist, Simply Delicioso by Ingrid Hoffmann, during HSN Cooks.

But Hoffman wasn't always the successful, graceful, talented gal we know today. "As a teenager working for my mom's catering company doing the inaugural ball of the governor of the Netherlands Antilles, I went to hang these flowers from the chandelier above the sweets and champagne table and lost my balance from the ladder and held myself from the chandelier only to come down with the chandelier," she recalled. "I ripped it from the ceiling while dangling over the table, then crashed through the table, champagne flutes, desserts, etcetera, 10 minutes before the party began. Mom fired me on the spot!"

We're glad she lived to tell the story. And even though we now know perhaps she's a bit of a klutz and she likes to eat ants and (more about that below), we still find Ingrid Hoffmann incredibly appealing. Here's what she had to say:

New Times: If you came back in your next life as a food item, what would it be and how would you like to be served?

Ingrid Hoffman: A mango, because it's sweet and tarty also an aphrodisiac, and would like it plated in a sexy way, like a Mango Rose Water Sorbet in a martini glass and decorated with edible rose petals.

NT: If you could serve a meal to any famous person, alive or dead, who would it be and what would you cook for him/her?

IH: Definitely my grandparents. On Dad's side, sauerbraten kartoffelkloesse (German sour beef with special boiled potatoes)--it was their favorite. On Mom's side, arepa de huevo con fritanga Boliviana (Bolivian pork ribs stew) and Pisco Sour.

NT: If your significant other gave you a pass, what celebrity chef would you most enjoy a naked cooking session with and why?

IH: Anthony Bourdain, Eric Ripert, and Gordon Ramsay, because not only are they amazing chefs, but hot and sexy and they look like they know a thing or two about life, and I love that bad boy thing!!! (Not all three at the same time, so I would need 3 passes!!!)

Mature men to me are sexy. Besides, have you ever seen the famous naked picture of Anthony [Bourdain] in Melanie Dunea's book My Last Supper? Or seen the opening shot from The F Word, Gordon's show that airs on BBC? He starts out undressing from his amazing Etro suit, baring complete chest, and puts on his chef's jacket while the music reaches its crescendo and so does Gordon' s HOT factor!

NT: What three words describe your ultimate foodie fantasy?

IH: 1. My boyfriend
2. Colombia on any of the many deserted islands around Islas del Rosario
3. Fresh seafood eaten and cooked by the fishermen that come by in their small canoes with oysters, lobsters, rum, etcetera.

NT: What's your favorite soundtrack/song to cook to?

IH: Currently Cucu Diamante's (from Yerbabuena) new solo album, Cuculand.

NT: If you weren't a chef, what would you be?

IH: In my fantasy: a rock star, racecar driver, pilot, missionary, architect, or movie director.

NT: What's the hottest thing a date could whip up for you in the kitchen?

IH: If he is very hot, who cares about what he whipped up? As long as he can reenact the famous fridge scene of 9 1/2 Weeks!

NT: What's your favorite junk food?

IH: M&M's in bed at night, Dutch licorice, Dirty Potato Chips Salt & Vinegar, and Coca-Cola.

NT: Aside from any restaurants you own or have interest in, which Miami eatery is your favorite and what do you like to order there?

IH: Michael's Genuine for whole fish and fried hominy. Michy's for short ribs. Salmon Salmon for aguadito, the best churrasco ever, and avocado salad. Abokado for Diablo Roll. Prime 112 and BLT Steak for steaks.

NT: What was your best or worst dining experience?

IH: Dining for me is a fun adventure, so even when the food has been bad the company has been great! This coming from someone that likes to eat big butt ants (hormigas culonas), which are a typical dish in my country, Colombia, in the region of Santander where my mom is from, so I do not believe in bad dining experiences! Bad food is a different story, but it can always be cured with wine or a shot of Johnnie Walker Black!

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Riki Altman