Every day feels exactly the same. No longer the metaphorical Groundhog’s Day of early March, the year has worn on to a very literal interpretation of the classic film with us repeating the same routine, the same outfit, and the same meals, daily. 

While some aspects of quarantine can’t be avoided, others certainly can. Nothing is worse than being stuck in a rut. This past year has been difficult on us all, and nothing helps to pull us out from under ourselves than a healthy mind and healthy body.

“That’s easier said than done,” you may counter. Fair, but not really, when you consider how accessible your kitchen still is. 

Food – a connector of mind, body, and soul – is one simple way to achieve the whole body wellness necessary to pull yourself up. Eating fast food weekly leads to depression and poor health, but eating healthy meals from new recipes? You’d be amazed at how such a small shift could move mountains for you mentally and physically. 

“There’s nothing worse than being stuck in a routine,” agrees Ligia Lugo, co-creator of nomadic food blog The Daring Kitchen. “We all need to try something new to feel alive. Sometimes we need a push to do so.” 

Exotic cultural dishes meets fresh local ingredients, The Daring Kitchen offers vibrant healthy recipes with creative flair that offer no sacrifice on flavor and yet no over-obligation of talent or time. While there are tips for artistry and gourmet presentation, Ligia and co-chef Chris Riley’s attention to detail when crafting these at-home culinary experiences make them easy to follow for every skill level. 

By subscribing to The Daring Kitchen, you are not just obtaining the key to a treasure box of recipes that span the globe. You are joining the food community, connecting with others from the comfort of your home. You may share favorite tips with a fellow foodie from Nicaragua, or find a new favorite lunch recipe from a new friend in Prague. One thing is certain, The Daring Kitchen has a finger on the pulse of the tried-and-true international best – from every day eats to seasonal and festive meals. 

How has The Daring Kitchen become the go-to community for easy-to-follow, attainable, local and international meals? From the travels and teachings and its cultural culinary experts, Ligia and Chris. 

“I met Ligia while traveling through Nicaragua and together we’ve been on the road for 7 years,” explains Chris. “We’ve been to 63 countries together, and 23 states (so far, looking forward to COVID being a distant memory!). While we loved our food and had fun cooking, I feel our first trip to Italy is where we really rounded a corner with food. I guess that also goes with our love of using fresh ingredients on dishes, it’s so important there.”

One of their favorite countries for food, the couple has a deep appreciate for the U.S. and its food-centric cities. 

“Any major city is going to be great,” says Ligia, talking about her favorites. “Spots like LA, NYC, and Chicago are hard to beat overall because of their diversity and a long list of options. We haven’t been to some of the other top food cities in the US that we want to visit, such as New Orleans, Portland, Seattle, and Charlotte. The diversity of food in big cities is always great, but our time spent traveling around the US has all been by car. There are a lot of hole-in-the-wall options out there that end up doing just one thing well, and we haven’t had time to visit them all.”

With a long list of places to go once quarantine is over, the two can’t help but hold a spot in their foodie heart for LA. 

“LA is a perfect storm for the food scene,” explains Ligia. “It has the ocean for fresh seafood, an excellent climate for fresh year-round produce, and it’s a cultural melting pot. You have all of that stuff blended, and many people then go outside the box to create new options. Freshness is the key since we’re always trying to arrange our dishes to work with local ingredients. It’s also part of what makes all the healthy options so much more readily available than anywhere else in the US.”

What did they learn in their travels, and how did those bits of knowledge become the ingredients to make the delicious masterpiece that is The Daring Kitchen?

“In our early travels, like in El Salvador, it was more about traveling. Later, it became more and more about food which would always intertwine us with locals. We’ve met really great people that have taken us into their homes and taught us those local secrets you can’t get anywhere else,” answers Chris. “For instance, in Italy, many chefs take pride in their work and love connecting with customers so they might come out and ask about the meal. In our experience, if you engage with them they’re likely to sit down and open a bottle of wine with you to discuss the meal. We’ve been in places where chefs stayed there with us hours after closing just drinking wine and even bouncing into the kitchen a little showing us techniques and tricks. We’ve taken that knowledge and translated it into easily followed tips for our readers to use in the kitchen every day.”

From providing recipe nutritional info to product reviews on quality kitchenware technology, The Daring Kitchen leaves no stone unturned. Using years of combined experience and world-wide exposure to cooking techniques, their easy-to-follow videos and blogs invite a fun and colorful change into your life. 

“Food is so much about personal experience that nothing will top cooking for yourself. We help people do just that,” encourages Ligia.

To learn more about Ligia and Chris, and to change up your culinary routine, visit The Daring Kitchen

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.