Photo Credit: Mark Lyndersay
Some call her the godmother of ‘Brown Beauty Blogging’, others call her Afrobella, and a few others still call her Patrice. I call her all of the above, and now I can add ‘Sweet Han’s first Cookalong guest’ to the list! We started our respective blogs at the same time, and though apart geographically, we’ve always been connected – by a shared homeland, high school alma mater, and even old family connections (my father is best friends with one of her uncles). That’s why it’s thrilled me to see her ascend into the upper echelons of the bloggerati (is that even a word?) and have also appreciated the support she’s always shown me and this site.
Last month we finally met in person and I’m happy to say that she is as personable and down to earth as her Internet presence suggests
For those who don’t already know: Patrice Grell-Yursik, a.k.a Afrobella is one of the world’s most recognized fashion and beauty bloggers. She has been featured in Essence, Ebony, Glamour, the Trinidad Guardian, Trinidad Newsday and Fast Company. She is currently on Ebony Magazine’s Power 100 list, alongside the likes of Jay-Z, Oprah and the Obamas.
TG: Who are some of your heroes/role models? Why have they touched/inspired you?
PY: When I think of my heroes and role models, the first people to come to mind are my parents and my sister Petal. They truly have always supported my dreams and encouraged me to be educated, be cultured, and be unique. Nina Simone is a hero to me. Allison Hennessey was a role model for me, growing up in Trinidad. Also women like Diana Ross, Queen Latifah, Angela Bassett and Lisa Bonet – I have always looked at women who seemed to embody independence and freedom as inspirational beauty icons.
TG: What has been a lifelong dream of yours?
PY: It’s been a lifelong dream of mine to be a published author. I’m working on making that dream come true.
TG: What is your most prized possession and why?
PY: My most prized possession would be the crosses that have been given to us as wedding gifts. 10 years ago when we got married, we were given a cross from my husband’s aunt Phoebe, who is a Carmelte nun – it was blessed by her sisters. We were given a cross by my childhood priest, Canon Winston Joseph – formerly of All Saints in Trinidad, now at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in West Palm Beach, Florida. And my mom had some beautiful jewelry made for me which I wore to the wedding – cross earrings and a pendant. All of those items are very special to me.
TG: Do you prefer to cook for others or to be cooked for?
PY: I prefer to be cooked for! I find myself cooking dinner almost every night and it’s lovely to be pampered with a night out.
TG: If there’s one dish from Trinidad that you think people should try what would that be?
PY: The one Trini dish everyone in the world should try, is a good Maracas Beach bake and ‘shark’. Most people prefer Richard’s, but I know other vendors there have their fans as well. The combination of condiments, together with the general Maracas Beach ambiance… there is nothing else like it in the world.
Watch Afrobella in the kitchen below as she cooks her way through my recipe for Trinidad Stew Fish. Visit the event page for details!