Aida Lugo McAllister was born in Gary, Indiana to Puerto Rican parents. At the age of 12, she cooked and served dinner every day at her parents’ home. After high school graduation, Aida moved to Puerto Rico.
Aida worked for one year as a secretary for an oil refinery in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico. She attended school full time at the University of Puerto Rico. During the school breaks between semesters, she traveled the entire Island and the neighboring Caribbean islands. She learned how to cook authentic Puerto Rican dishes while living in Puerto Rico. When she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Education, she returned to Indiana. She received her Master’s Degree in Secondary Education with a concentration in Business Education at Indiana University.
Aida devoted her free time learning how to cook other ethnic foods. She took cooking classes with instructors who were chefs from local restaurants. She traveled to Europe, Canada, Mexico, South America and most of the United States to learn about the different cultures and cuisines.
Aida changed her career path and obtained another Bachelor’s Degree, this time in Accounting, at Indiana University. Once she completed her studies, she decided to write a cookbook because she was frequently either showing and/ or explaining to her friends how to cook Puerto Rican food. In addition, Aida also wanted to create this cookbook as a legacy to the new generations interested in the Latin American cuisine.
Currently Aida lives in Indiana with her Irish husband, Henry, who enjoys and appreciates all of her cooking – especially Puerto Rican dishes.