The Latin road that Garces has laid out in the U.S. is marked by 15 restaurants across 5 cities, from Philadelphia to Palm Springs. But the road he navigates in this, his second cookbook (after Latin Evolution), is one of time travel and cultural influences. A mix of culinary memories and flavorful, inspired recipes, each chapter focuses on a particular country. He begins with his grandmother's homeland, Ecuador, and the foods he knew as a child such as fried pork, and warm hominy salad. Then he is off to Spain, where he was a rookie cook on the Costa del Sol, offering seafood dishes like Spanish octopus with potato confit. Next comes Cuba, his wife's birthright, and a ropa vieja with red beans, prepared in a pressure cooker with plenty of onion and peppers. His ties to Mexico and Peru are perhaps a bit less personal, but the recipes no less heartfelt. A Mexican cactus salad balances queso fresco with pickled jalapenos. A Peruvian purple punch gets its color from dried purple corn and its kick from Peruvian brandy. There are also quick info pages for each of the countries, painting brief pictures of their various histories, populations, and primary foodstuffs. And complementing each menu-based grouping of recipes, there are classic essentials, such as the empanada and the cubano sandwich. (Oct.)
With this exciting book, home cooks can join Jose, one of America's most exciting chefs, on his journey back and forth across the Atlantic, cooking some of the best dishes from the Old World and New.
Chef Masaharu Morimoto
The Latin Road Home is Chef Garces' passionate, personal introduction to Latin cuisine. His love of unpretentious home cooking and his superb culinary techniques are beautifully integrated in each recipe.
Fine Cooking, October 2012 - Kimberly Masibay
This beauty of a book is Philadelphia-based chef Jose Garces's love letter to Latin home cooking. Organized into five lavishly photographed chapters-one each for Ecuador (Garces's ancestral homeland), Spain, Cuba, Mexico, and Peru-the book explores the foods that have nourished Garces and shaped his growth as a chef. In each chapter, Garces o?ffers four dinner menus, featuring tempting authentic regional dishes such as Ecuadorian Chicken and Rice Soup with Achiote, and Seafood Vermicelli Paella (yes, paella made with pasta, not rice) from Spain's Costa del Sol. He also includes extra recipes for "essentials" of each cuisine like Ecuadorian empanadas, sweet Cuban-style espresso, and hearty Mexican corn tamales. Throughout the book, Garces remains true to his mission of celebrating home cooking, and the recipes are consistently doable and unpretentious. It's filled with the sort of comforting family-friendly roasts, stews, and salads that we all love-and it's a great read to boot.
Eater, October 2012 - Paula Forbes
Garces' recipes are his take on the classics, whether it's a twist added by his relatives or an upscale reinvention for one of his restaurants. The book is also beautiful, with photography that stands out as a refreshing pop of color (and vegetables) in a season dominated by food photography in muted shades of brown.
Philadelphia Inquirer, October 5, 2012 - Maureen Fitzgerald
The cookbook serves as a Latin cooking primer, paying homage to the countries where Garces found his cooking soul: his ancestral home of Ecuador, as well as Spain, Cuba, Mexico, and Peru. Garces traveled extensively through those countries, absorbing then interpreting their cuisines for the restaurants he opened here.