The Kitchen Is The Heart Of The Home

The Holidays are finally over, but the celebrations have continued into the new year for my family and I! Yep, our favorite time of the year isn’t over yet – when everything is all about love and sharing, reflecting on our actions, making resolutions for the year to come and of course, eating like there’s no tomorrow. It was the season to forget about your fitness program, or at least not feeling guilty about putting it on standby mode, cause: you’re totally allowed to do that! At least in Mexico, the Holidays come with lots of Office Christmas Parties, friends’ reunions, family dinners and more. So no matter your beliefs or how you celebrate the Holidays, we can all agree with something: It’s all about the food. Starting off 2019 I was reminded that the kitchen is the heart of the home – and I am so grateful for the reminder.

With my family growing, and cooking at home becoming more of a reality while we prepare for the baby, I am becoming more excited by being in the kitchen. We’ve all been on that side of the table when you have the responsibility of giving your guests a great time and ordering food is not an option. Trust me, it happens. I had to learn it the hard way, as I used to be the guy that solved this kind of situations with pizza (because pizza was always a good solution) but you can’t do that every time!

In my country, the Christmas dinner celebration is held on the night of December 24th, and families gather for dinner and receive Christmas delighting with the best family recipes. I remember my grandma, mom, and aunties spending the whole eve cooking the most amazing food ever! From Stuffed Turkey, Pork Jam, Beef, and lots of unique Mexican recipes like”romeritos” (a dish I won’t even try to describe ’cause I hate it) and Bacalao (salted codfish cooked with lots of vegetables, very popular in Mexico).

To this day, most Mexican families keep all those traditions alive,  but unfortunately, not all of us. I confess that I’m not a great cook, though. While I love spending time in the kitchen, I’m more a grill enthusiast. You give me whatever is edible and I’ll turn it into a grilled fiesta! From big steaks to lobsters, fish, vegetables and even fruits for desserts. You’ve probably seen some of my DTD Instagram stories, I’m always outside grilling something! All I need is some charcoal, a match, and I’m ready to go!

Remember that day I was doing the #saltabechallenge? Some of my favourite memories are celebrated over food and I am happiest when those I love most are full of delicious items I have helped to create in the kitchen and on the grill – because it’s about balance these days!

When I moved to Playa, things were way different. I had no grill and my kitchen tools were far from being the best (I had to buy the cheapest knives available at the supermarket). It was a bit frustrating, cause it took a lot of my time to cook. That’s why I solved every hunger situation with pizza, and my feeding habits were not that good (and honestly, they were boring).

Fortunately, that changed a couple years ago when Daniel came to Playa with lots of presents for us! All of them were awesome but if there’s one that to this day is a fundamental element of our kitchen is definitely our Chef’s knife by Zwilling. I can’t even tell you how grateful we are for having it cause, although it is not our only knife at home, it’s definitely my first choice for anything that involves cooking, especially for the grill, as I love big steaks such as Tomahawk or ribeye, and my Zwilling smoothly slices through the tender but thick meat like no other. I use it for chopping veggies too. But seriously… why am I talking about my favorite knife? From cooking up a storm to slicing cake, it has become a staple in my home for a reason.

Because I’m far from being a chef, I understand the frustration of “not knowing how to cook”, but I do believe that it has to do with having good quality and durability kitchen tools. For this next Holidays we’re hosting some family and yes… I’ll be grilling! It may not gonna be a traditional meal, but I’m sure that everyone will enjoy our Caribbean Holiday dinner.

We are moving into a new home soon, and while a lot of our old stuff is not being considered into the packing process, definitely my Zwilling is, as it’s known that with the adequate care it’ll last for years. I’m sure that I’ll get better at cooking, cause practice leads to perfection and as long as I can rely on a good knife, I’ll keep doing my best. I heard that Zwilling can finally be found in Mexico and I can’t wait to get more of their products and hopefully, get better at cooking. Maybe next year I’ll be ready for one of those family recipes that I miss so much (not the “romeritos”, tho) – and thankfully the beautiful new Zwilling Now 6 Piece Knife Block Set promised to me by Daniel on his next visit will add to my home and my memories.

Whether you’re like us here in Playa and continue on with the festivities well into the new year, or you’re simply looking to add to your kitchen with some of the best knives I have ever used, Zwilling is a fantastic option for you that I would highly recommend you check out for you and your family. I have also heard great things from a friend about Lion Sabatier Edonist knives: originating in Thiers, France, the birthplace of French cutlery, these well balanced, quality knives are ideal for a cooking enthusiast.

Here is to an exciting 2019 for us all, both at home and out on our DTD adventures! Find me as @pepeyanez on Twitter and Instagram – I would love to have you join in my day-to-day adventures here in paradise.

Photos: Pepe Yañez, Daniel Reyes & all social media accounts listed above