Love + Flavor

Amor y Sabor = Love + Flavor

Me and Karan in Boca Chica

Welcome to Amor y Sabor — A multicultural fairytale about food, family and love…

My name is Eliza Alys Young. All my life I dreamed of living in another country, speaking another language, and experiencing another culture. Finally, in 2002, my opportunity came when I went to the Dominican Republic to teach summer classes in web design. My class was so popular that the students convinced me to visit the capital, Santo Domingo to meet with various businesses and explore opportunities of working together. Soon, I realized it was actually achievable to move there. Eight months later, that is exactly what I did.

Eliza Self-Portrait

As, the offspring of two professional artists: Kate Merrick and David X Young, I grew up in an eclectic environment in the Soho District of New York City. My background is in art, graphic design and photography; I have been a creative professional for many years with my own business, Design Intense.

Despite the fact that I only knew a smattering of Spanish when I arrived in the Dominican Republic, I managed to forge a life for myself and later a family as well. I am inspired by challenges.

Karan at the beach

I spent 8 years living as an American in the Dominican Republic. During my time there I married a Dominican and had two beautiful children. However, our marriage was not meant to be, so after several years, we divorced. Some time later, I met Karan, who was living just a few blocks away from my home in Santo Domingo. He is from India.

Karan came to the Dominican Republic as a young man to make his fortune. When we first met he had been in Santo Domingo for little more than a year and his dreams of fortune were not to be found. He was working for an Indian company that was a sham. Never receiving a penny for his labor, he was stuck in a foreign country, too proud to go home empty handed but with no idea what to do next, just that he had to do something. Both of us living in the same neighborhood of Gazcue, we had arrived there from very different places.

Me and my sweetie

We are an unusual, unlikely combination and, as we found out from our first disappointing visa interview, an unbelievable one.

Of course, as many as there are differences, there are also core values that connect us. We both share a love of home and family. I am at heart a very traditional woman who prefers a man to lead while knowing that I can too. Karan respects me and gives me my space and I let him lead. We also connect strongly through food: the preparation, the story behind the recipes, the sharing of the meal. I don’t feel limited by Karan’s culture, in fact we sync. It works. Don’t ask me why, it just does. We are devoted to each other.

Me and the kids the day we left for the US

For years my family wanted me to return with my children to the United States but I resisted, enjoying the diversity and foreignness of where I had lived. But, when I met Karan, my true love, I began to reconsider. Returning to the U.S. with a cultural mix right in my own family satisfied my expat dreams somewhat and the U.S. is better for the kids.

Since July of 2010 I have been back in the U.S. with my children. Karan waited in the Dominican Republic for the visa until November 2012 when we were finally able to be together in the United States. Now we live together in Miami, Florida.

This site began as our journey to become a whole family together and has evolved to explore how our different cultures influence each other, co-mingling into something new, offering us invaluable perspectives.

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