We had the good fortune of connecting with Anamaris Cousins Price and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Anamaris, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
My mother was a great cook and hostess. We probably hosted a dinner party every week and she was always coming up with elaborate dinner party ideas and bringing friends and loved ones together. Cooking and entertaining is my happy place and after extensive travel through Latin America, experiencing different cuisines and cultures and wanted to find a way to combine those passions and introduce locals to flavors they wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to. My first meal featured the flavors of Panama; I prepared elevated versions of 5 of my favorite dishes and served it to a group of friends and acquaintances to test out my idea. I’ve been hosting monthly events since, sometimes a brunch or a dinner. After being laid off last year, I decided to take the opportunity to pursue my passion full time and formally set up my company last August. Because of Covid, I had to find other ways to continue to share my love for cooking, feeding and entertaining people, so I developed a weekly meal service. I offer 2-3 main dishes, plus sides and sometimes desserts each week. I’ve also been hosting virtual dinner parties, focusing on a specific Latin American country each month and putting together a 5-course menu that guests take home, then join me on Zoom to reheat, plate and discuss the culture of that country.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I think of cooking as an art, a way to express yourself on a plate. I have the ability to transform dishes from other cuisines, by mixing in Latin flavors and ingredients. I love to make recipes my own and come up with new ways to prepare and serve dishes from other cultures. I’m thrilled when I’m able to introduce someone to a new flavor combination/ingredient/cuisine and see how much they enjoy it. I’m also on a mission to help people connect with others through amazing food. Latinos are known for their love of family and friends, for taking the time to be present with one another and that’s something I like to encourage my guests to do. Slow down a bit, savor the moments and the bites.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would start with pastries from Weights & Measures or Common Bond–they’re simply divine! Drives and walks through some of Houston’s historic neighborhoods, my own, 3rd Ward, but also Heights, Montrose and 2nd Ward. Visiting a few of the museums and their grounds. Shopping for produce at Finca Tres Robles and Blodgett Urban Gardens to cook a few meals together in my kitchen. I would definitely take her to view graffitti murals around town.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are a lot of strong, supportive women that have encouraged me along the way, but I will single out 4 in particular. My oldest friend Dorothy Martínez who’s been my rock for the past 30 years and always reminds me that “I Can!”. My dear friend, Melinda Miner who started out as colleague and turned into a friend and my greatest cheerleader. Jessica McCreary (owner of HTX Living). I met this little dynamo when we were ready to move into a larger home and sell our condo. She’s like a little sister, but I want to be like her when I grow up! Finally, Debbie Tamez of Vega Inspired Solutions. She’s my business coach, a friend, a cheerleader and a confidence booster all in one. She’s guided me through the process of starting and running my business.

Website: www.secretopopup.com

Instagram: @secretopopup

Twitter: @chefityourself

Facebook: @secretopopup

Image Credits
all images are mine.

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