Ingrid Hoffmann: "2013's Hottest Cooking Ingredients Are..."

A Red Hot Night: Presented by Target was the place to be on Saturday, February 23 in Miami. South Beach Wine & Food Festival's newest event celebrated all things Latin and its guest of honor was red hot Latina chef Ingrid Hoffmann.

During the event, guests were treated to a 1950s Havana-inspired party. Hoffmann and other notable Latin chefs like Chef Adrianne were on hand to serve up some of their favorite dishes. Wearing the cutest Prabal Gurung for Target blazer (smart, Ingrid!), we were able to sneak in an interview with the busy celeb chef about her Simply Delicioso line of cookware and upcoming new book, Latin D'Lite. Here's the skinny:

Tell us a little bit about your new cookbook.

Latin D'Lite is a book about eating healthy. Not dieting -- but making things healthier. So the basic concept is that you eat from the ground, and that means no processed foods. I don’t believe in diets because every diet I’ve ever tried, I’ve broken. So, it’s all about a change of lifestyle. Cooking from scratch does not have to be a complicated thing. You need a pressure cooker, and you can whip up anything in minutes.

Pressure cookers seem to be making a huge comeback. You have a line with T-Fal that includes a pressure cooker, right?

Yes! My pressure cooker is the most beautiful pressure cooker, she's got red handles, and she’s hot. I call her Betty. Using a pressure cooker is a way of eating clean and quick, and it’s a way of saving money.

You live here in Miami. Tell us about a few hidden gems in Miami that you love. Where do you go on a night off?

I like going for lunch at a small spot that nobody knows about it. It’s called Thea. It’s in historic Overtown, great food. I like going to Salmon Salmon. I love Michael’s GenuineSunday brunch at Michael’s is like being home. And I like going to the Everglades for picnics. I like doing Miami in a way that tourists don’t do it.

Tonight is a "red hot" night. What’s your red hot ingredient for 2013?

Always avocado, always cilantro, aji amarillo, and quinoa.

What are your five favorite pantry ingredients that every home cook should keep in house?

If you have quinoa, beans, chipotle, olives, sardines, and anchovies, you can whip up a meal in seconds. I like using anchovies as a flavor. People always say “Oh, I hate anchovies!” but they add a layer of flavor that you can’t taste.

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