My Story

Me, happily eating ice cream on a Sunday afternoon :) - Photo by Aaron Forman

Me, happily eating ice cream on a Sunday afternoon :) - Photo by Aaron Forman

Hi, I'm Terrine Baluyut, a home cook from San Francisco. If you're familiar with French food, you'll notice that my parents named me after the French paté-like dish 'terrine'. My parents are not French nor did I grow up in France; my Dad was a pilot and wanted to name me something aeronautical, and he came across a terrine in a recipe book and thought it was close enough to "terrain," and sounded better than his initial choice of "Boeing."  The decision to name me after a complex but classic dish turned out to be fitting, considering the level of passion I have for all things food.

Throughout my life, I've been lucky enough to eat a bunch of good food. I'm of Filipino decent, with a bit of Spanish and Chinese mixed in, and spent my early childhood in the SF Bay Area eating the cuisine of my heritage (with some fried chicken mixed in for good measure). I moved to the Philippines for a few years of my youth, during which I travelled throughout Asia developing my palate. After I moved back to the USA in my early teens, most of my meals came from two amazing home cooks- my mom and my grandma. From my mom's chicken adobo to her paella, dinner at my house was always special. On the weekend's my grandma would cook meals to feed an entire army of hungry grandchildren. 

My interest in cooking didn't begin until after college, when my boyfriend and I moved into our first apartment in San Francisco's Mission District. At first we thought we would be set with food considering we lived in a neighborhood legendary for its restaurants, from James Beard-award winning spots to spectacular taquerias. But soon we realized that our food budget wouldn't scale to support dining out every night. That's when I decided to take our food budget in my own hands and learn to cook.

Slowly but surely I went from making a few questionable meals to being confident in the kitchen. At first I tried perfecting three dishes, a simple chicken curry, meatballs, and a beef stew. After much trial and error I started noticing patterns and jotting down my mistakes, and soon those dishes were more than edible, they were delicious. And soon those three dishes multiplied to a library of recipes.

As my comfort in the kitchen grew, so did my interest in cooking. I quickly became glued to show's like Chopped and Alton Brown's Good Eats. Now most of my spare time is spent searching for content to help me become a better cook. Whether I'm collecting cookbooks, investigating food crazes and ingredients, visiting the local farmers market or finding new products to help in the kitchen, I have an obsession with food that I want to share with the world.  

I've decided to share my findings here at Home Cook Hero where you can join me on a quest to become a hero in your own kitchen- cooking food that is simple, fresh, affordable, and most importantly delicious.