Ingrid Hoffmann took a chance on television as a joke. This Yahoo! original series will introduce you to success stories, to the public figures who have crossed cultures and languages to leave a mark in the Latin and US markets. In this episode, get to know Ingrid Hoffmann- a Colombian celebrity chef passionate about food and life whose rise to fame is a "Delicioso" chapter of the American dream.
When the Food Network was looking to spice up its lineup with a Latin cooking show, they knew they had the full package in Ingrid Hoffmann. The Colombian chef's passion and personality combined with her excellent culinary chops made Simply Delicioso a favorite among the network's viewers. "It was the biggest challenge of my career…bringing an authentic Latin flavor to the Food Network," says Hoffmann, who feared her Latin style of cooking would be perceived as simply Mexican. "Americans think all Latin food is Mexican," she says. And while Hoffmann considers having a food show in US television a landmark accomplishment in her life, the chef was still hungry for more.
See how Ingrid went from cook to international brand:
The Barranquilla-born chef grew up in a family of foodies where everyone learned and loved to cook. They believed strongly that children should eat what adults eat, a custom she affirms shaped her passion for good food. But her road to culinary stardom took a couple of detours; she actually started appearing in telenovelas as a way to make a living while in college, and even considered a career in acting. Years later, Hoffmann and her then husband decided to move to the United States. Once in Miami, her mother encouraged her to use her love and talent for food to open her first restaurant, Roca. Quicker than anyone expected, the eatery became a destination of choice for great Latin cooking, and its success launched her into what is now a flourishing food television career. Her appearances in Spanish morning shows like Despierta América led to an invitation to the Oprah Winfrey Show. When the Food Network came calling, she knew well she would be trailblazing a path for Latino chefs in US media. Her message to the networks: "You better count us [Latinos] in."
Today, this celebrity Latina chef has taken the Delicioso brand into a multi-media venture with cookbooks, a website, mobile apps and a Spanish lifestyle show on Univision. Getting to continually grow an enterprise into a respected and recognizable brand is what Hoffmann was truly hungry for, her biggest accomplishment and the realization of her American dream.