Alica's Pepperpot is about recipes, culture, and snippets of my life. This blog is also about preserving my culinary culture through recipes and sharing it with the world. I want younger generations to have a place to read about the foods that influenced the lives of many Caribbean immigrants and their descendants. It is important to remember how our cultural food shapes our identity. It helps us remember who we are in times of uncertainty and isolation. The majority of recipes on this site are heirloom family recipes which I have taken time to document and share to learn and connect with West Indian and Caribbean culture.
I'm an Indo-Caribbean-American woman originally from New York City. I grew up in Queens, NY, which I call home. My family is from Guyana, the only English-speaking country in South America. Growing up, I spent a lot of time helping my mom prepare traditional foods for our family, as we did not eat out very often. Home-cooked food was always what united us; the glue that held us together. After graduating college, I moved away from home and quickly realized how much I missed my mom's presence in the kitchen.
During graduate school, I started a blog documenting her recipes. I felt we needed a space online where people who wanted to learn how to cook the food their parents made but needed measurements, could be inspired and encouraged to make those nostalgic foods using my family's recipes as a guideline. What started as a hobby has now become a seemingly full-time career for me. Currently, I reside in sunny Florida with my husband and two sons.
I attended St. John's University in Queens, NY, where I graduated with a B.A. in English. I am also a graduate of the University of Rochester Simon School of Business, where I earned an M.S. in Market Research. My previous careers include client management at a food advertising agency, pharmaceutical sales, and consumer insights/marketing at a Fortune 500 CPG firm. A few years ago, I left my career in marketing to become a work-at-home mom.
About the blog name
"Alica's Pepperpot" represents my family's vibrant food and culture. The energy of the term, “Pepperpot” signifies that something exciting and spicy is cooking. It also has an ambiguous meaning, with Pepperpot being Guyana’s national dish. As an Indo-Caribbean-American woman, the term "pepperpot" essentially provides the link to my Guyanese heritage.
How to use this site:
I recommend using these recipes as a guide and customizing them to suit your tastes. Or you can follow the recipe exactly until you have learned the dish's method. We all have different preferences for seasonings and ingredients. My ultimate goal is to encourage and inspire you to connect with the flavors of the Caribbean, no matter which method you choose.
The recipes on this blog range from traditional and sentimental to modern and fun. I'm most inspired by Caribbean ingredients and how to use them in unique ways while keeping a focus on classic dishes. I also love to share recipes commonly found at West Indian/Caribbean gatherings, which do not necessarily include solely Caribbean dishes.