Rachel Ronquillo Gray was born and raised in rural Nevada and holds an MFA from Indiana University. She is a 2018 Sundress Academy of the Arts resident, a Kundiman and Pink Door fellow and an alum of the VONA and Las Dos Brujas writing workshops. Her work has appeared in Puñeta: Political Pilipinx Poetry, Digging Through the Fat, Winter Tangerine Review, Radar Poetry, As/Us, Lantern Review and other places. She currently lives, writes and makes food in Bloomington, Indiana.
Rachel Ronquillo Gray
I’d be lying if I said that cooking the recipes in Priya Krishna’s Indian-ish with my mom had been my plan all along. The truth is I had planned to cook these recipes on my own, in my own kitchen in Indiana, with my own equipment. What actually happened: in light of a family emergency, I took leave from my bakery job and traveled home to be with my mother and the rest of my family. I didn’t know how long I was going to be gone, so, alongside my clothes, a copy of Crazy Rich Asians and two poetry collections, I packed Indian-ish into my suitcase.
What I love about cookbooks is that they make me excited to do something. They inspire me to action. They show me delicious, beautiful things — things that I might not even know I want until I see them and realize that I’m craving them. And cookbooks don’t just dangle the beautiful things in front of me; they show me how to make them myself. A well-written recipe gives me a road map for a journey that I never thought I’d go on, a journey I sometimes don’t even realize I’m on until I’m in the middle of following a recipe’s instructions.