Cordua: Foods of the Americas from the Legendary Texas Restaurant Family

Overview

A quarter of a century ago, a Nicaraguan became a chef with a restaurant in Houston, Texas. That eatery, called Churrascos, after a style of beef cookery then unknown in the United States, became a hit despite its most obvious failing: it was Latin but not Tex-Mex, and involved no tacos, enchiladas or burritos. The Cordúa family became a Texas restaurant legend, and the success story behind several locations of Churrascos, the soaring Artista at Houston’s Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, the casual-fun ...

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Overview

A quarter of a century ago, a Nicaraguan became a chef with a restaurant in Houston, Texas. That eatery, called Churrascos, after a style of beef cookery then unknown in the United States, became a hit despite its most obvious failing: it was Latin but not Tex-Mex, and involved no tacos, enchiladas or burritos. The Cordúa family became a Texas restaurant legend, and the success story behind several locations of Churrascos, the soaring Artista at Houston’s Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, the casual-fun Amazón Grill and what perhaps is the family’s ultimate culinary and architectural signature, Américas. This book, marking their 25th anniversary, celebrates their story and their vision—and generously shares their iconic recipes.

 Michael Cordúa, a soft-spoken, tirelessly eloquent man obsessed with history, philosophy and spirituality—was never the typical restaurant chef. From the start, his food was not typical restaurant food. As a U.S. citizen, he understood the entire history of this country’s “melting pot,” not least because he and his ancestors had experienced their own centuries old mingling of cultures. The Americas had over the centuries provided the larger world more foods than they could ever convincingly claim—staples like beans, squash, potatoes, tomatoes and corn, plus sweet dalliances like chocolate and vanilla. In fact, some foods originating in the Americas would become so popular in Europe that whole cultures claimed them anew, letting the tomato become Italian, for instance, and the potato Irish. Relying on ease mixed with attitude Michael Cordúa rediscovered and interpreted these foods for a contemporary audience. Along with his son David, these two gifted chefs honor the foods of the Americas, celebrate their culture’s addition to the world’s pantry and showcase them in dishes that balance passionate Latin flavors with classic European techniques.

This book includes 99 recipes and 100 4-color photos.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781939055491
  • Publisher: Bright Sky Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2013
  • Pages: 196
  • Sales rank: 781,774
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

MICHAEL CORDÚA is owner and executive chef at seven award-winning Houston-area restaurants. He has been recognized as a pioneer of South American cuisine and received national acclaim for his creative ideas and artful presentations. He is the only Texas chef to be inducted into the “Food & Wine Hall of Fame”, is a recipient of the Robert Mondavi Award for Culinary Excellence, a member of the Continental Congress of Chefs & Sommeliers and was semifinalist for the 2011 James Beard Foundation Outstanding Restaurateur award.

DAVID CORDÚA  After graduating from the University of Santa Clara with a BS in Finance, he attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, receiving Grand Diplômes in both Cuisine and Pastry. In 2007, after working in some of the top kitchens in the California Bay area, David returned to Texas opening the second Américas as contributing chef. In 2009 he was made Cordúa’s Executive Chef of Development, overseeing menus, recipes and quality for its seven restaurants as well as its catering and events company. David was awarded Up-and-Coming Chef of the Year by My Table 2010 Houston Culinary Awards.

 JOHN DEMERS divides his time among Houston, Austin and Marfa. He is the author of more than fifty published books—many about food, wine and travel, plus the West Texas Noir series that includes the Chef Brett mysteries starting with Marfa Shadows. John is also the host of the “Delicious Mischief” food and wine radio program on 1070 KNTH in Houston, 570 KLIF in Dallas and 1370 KJCE in Austin. He is a regular contributor to Houston and Prime Living magazines, as well as to Houston ArtsWeek. His other works for Bright Sky Press include Lone Star Chefs and Follow the Smoke: 14,783 Miles of Great Texas Barbecue.

 JULIE SOEFER is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. The still photographer for the feature film Supersize Me, she snapped the iconic movie-poster image of director Morgan Spurlock’s mouth full of French fries. After years assisting one of her personal photography heroes, environmental portraitist Arnold Newman, Julie moved back to her hometown of Houston, where she works as an editorial photographer.  Her work has been featured on the covers of Houston and Modern Luxury Dallas magazines, and she contributes to The Financial Times, Texas Monthly and The Wall Street Journal. Julie was named a 2011 Finalist in Hearst Corporation’s 8X10 Photography Biennial.  Her work also appears in two other Texas themed cookbooks, Lone Star Chefs (Bright Sky Press) and Green Beans & Guacamole.

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