Hi there! I’m Dini Kodippili and I am the recipe developer, photographer, writer, cookbook author, and “mad scientist” behind The Flavor Bender. 🙂 Here you will find recipes that combine flavors in new and exciting ways that will make you fall in love with cooking and baking (if you haven’t already)!
I have a particular fondness for dessert, and breakfast & brunch recipes, and that’s mainly what you will find on The Flavor Bender. But I also have an extensive collection of flavor-packed savory recipes. Check out my Recipe Index to find out more.
My education and training
I completed my Bachelor of Science undergraduate degree in Biology, and Diploma in Psychology at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand (my home town in the southern hemisphere!). It was during those university days that I gained valuable experience in hospitality as a server and later as a trained barista.
Following that, I completed a Master of Clinical Audiology degree from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.
I practiced as a clinical audiologist in Australia for 3 years before taking on another chapter of my life when I moved to the US in 2014 with my husband. It was there that The Flavor Bender was established in 2014.
After moving to beautiful Ottawa, Canada in 2019, I underwent further training at Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa, to hone my baking skills and knowledge even further. My classic French croissants and brioche bread recipes for example are a direct product of that training and are two of the most popular recipes on The Flavor Bender.
Why you can trust me
I am a scientist at heart and by education. And I have longed to combine that training with my decades-long passion for and experience in baking and cooking.
My recipes are extensively tested because I want YOU, my lovely readers, to be able to replicate my recipes with as much success as possible. I share delicious recipes, but also the WHY and the HOW of baking and cooking.
Not just because knowing how stuff works is so much fun, but also because that knowledge will help you become a better baker and cook, and help make the recipes I share as reliable and trustworthy as they can be.
I take pride in my comprehensive, and easy to follow, step by step recipes with extensive focus on clarity and attention to detail, and I update these recipes as needed to make sure that they are the BEST recipe of their kind that I can put out there.
- On The Flavor Bender, you will find sweet and savory recipes for everything from appetizers and tapas to main dishes, and from desserts and sweets to cocktails, and recipes that bring together flavors, ingredients, and different types of cuisine in unique and exciting ways. Check out my comprehensive recipe index to discover your next favorite breakfast, brunch, dessert recipe, and more! 🙂
- I share original recipes that I develop on my own through research, experimentation, trial and error, like the original Fruit Infused Shimmery Liqueur, Homemade Shimmery Liqueur, Color Changing Alcohol, Galaxy Lemonade. If I’m ever inspired by or adapt someone else’s recipe, it will be clearly indicated in the post and the recipe.
- I also share lots of Sri Lankan, South Asian, and curry recipes that reflect so much of my childhood, upbringing, and heritage. In this collection, I guarantee, you will find the best meat and vegetarian curry recipes on the internet!
- Recipe basics and techniques that you can master along with me AND learn to adapt, to create your own version with your own flavors and flair – such as perfect homemade choux pastry, easy rough puff pastry, perfect homemade marshmallows, doughnuts, classic pound cake, vanilla cake, chocolate cake, perfect pie crust, pavlova etc.
- Cooking and baking 101 series where I share in-depth, informative articles on cooking and baking such as cooked sugar stages, types of custard, types of sugar, baking soda vs baking powder, Dutch process vs natural cocoa powder, how to cook lobster perfectly, how to make a turkey roulade etc.
- I also readily (and freely!) share invaluable resources such as my measurements conversion guide, cake pan conversion chart etc.
- My recipes are for meals that are prepared from scratch. I love fresh, wholesome food and knowing what I put in my body. So I try to avoid packaged, pre-made stuff whenever I can – but I can’t deny that I do love shortcuts. 🙂
- You will also find recipes by diet for those with specific dietary restrictions (such as dairy-free and gluten-free diets) and even vegetarian and vegan diets.
- You will also find recipes for classic meals with a twist and recipes inspired by fictional characters in books, movies and on TV (yep, I’m a total geek!).
Why I love what I do
I truly am an adventurer in the kitchen and I love to experiment with flavors, ingredients, and cooking methods to see what works and what doesn’t. Not everything works, but when it does, the results can be spectacular and you will be able to read about it on this website.
I love coming up with recipes that bring different food cultures and distinct flavors together. That’s my strength, my passion. Cooking is a way to expand your horizons and travel the world without ever leaving your kitchen, and if you’re willing to give it a chance, you will soon discover wonders that you never knew existed.
Cooking should never be a chore, even if you’re short on time and patience. Cooking at home saves you a ton of money and is healthy in the long run. And the best way to cook more is to make it fun and enjoyable.
I grew up in a culture where food brought families together. So don’t ever underestimate the power of a good home-cooked meal or a homemade pie!
15 random things about me and The Flavor Bender
- This blog used to be called Giramuk’s Kitchen and I rebranded it as The Flavor Bender in July, 2015 because that name better represented what this blog was about. Oh, and Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of my favorite animated TV shows.
- I was born in Sri Lanka, grew up in New Zealand, and lived in Australia before moving to the USA with my husband in 2014, and then Canada in early 2019. I have moved 14 times on top of that. I don’t think I’ve grasped the idea of settling down quite yet. I now call Ottawa, Ontario my home!
- I have a Bachelor’s in Science, a Master’s in Clinical Audiology, and a PhD in making a mess of my kitchen.
- I worked as a Clinical Audiologist for several years in Australia and spent too much of my time convincing husbands that they did indeed have a hearing impairment and it wasn’t just their wives that they couldn’t hear. I had mixed results.
- I started this blog in late 2014 because I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with as much passion.
- I learned how to cook from my mother when I was seven. It’s still the best lesson I’ve learned in life so far.
- Chocolate is both my strength and my kryptonite and I can NEVER say no to a margarita!
- I love drinking coffee and I’m a trained Barista. It’s a flavor that I use a lot in my baking (espresso cake, anyone?).
- I have worked in the food industry as a server, waiting tables and cleaning dishes while stealing the occasional croissant.
- Baking cakes is my forte and cheese is my favorite thing to eat. Any kind of cheese. Going through the cheese selection at my local grocery store every week is a form of therapy for me. Really. I would do it for hours if my husband let me. Give me cheese and chocolate together though, and I’m in heaven.
- I love to sing and draw and keep wishing I could pursue those interests more seriously.
- I’m mortally scared of heights and roller coasters, much to the disappointment of my husband.
- Mr K (as you’d occasionally find him referred to on the blog) is my husband, principal taste tester, proof reader, and critic. Educated and trained as a medical research scientist with a PhD in molecular genetics and regenerative medicine, he has also joined forces with me now in website and business maintenance for The Flavor Bender.
- I love watching horror movies, though they terrify me to my core. And then I watch a mindless comedy to counteract the effects of the horror movie. It actually works.
- Cleaning is a skill I’m yet to master, much to the dismay of my husband.
You can subscribe for FREE recipes and updates from The Flavor Bender by clicking here or by entering your email address in the subscription box in the sidebar. If you’d like to work with me or contact me, please email me at theflavorbender(at)gmail(dot)com.
I love to hear from you guys and will ALWAYS respond to your emails – if I don’t, just send me a friendly reminder because your email may have gotten lost in the folder. You can also connect with me through social media on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest.
Thank you so much for visiting The Flavor Bender. I hope you stay and look around, and be inspired! 🙂