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Foods of the Americas

$29.95 $20.97

Michael Cordúa & David Cordúa with John DeMers
Photography by Julie Soefer
4-color photographs

A quarter century ago, a Nicaraguan born in the American Canal Zone 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, the success story behind several locations of Churrascos, the soaring Artista at Houston’s Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, the casual-fun Amazon Grill, and what perhaps is the family’s ultimate culinary and architectural signature, Americas. This book, marking their twenty-fifth anniversary, celebrates their story and their vision—and generously shares their iconic recipes.

SKU: 978-1-939055-49-1 Categories: , ,

About the Author

Michael Cordúa—a soft-spoken, tirelessly eloquent man obsessed with history, philosophy and spirituality—was never the typical restaurant chef. So, 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 to the south had experienced their own centuries old mingling of cultures. Civilized long before the arrival of Columbus and the Spanish conquistadores who followed, 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, but also a genial distinterest in food politics, first Michael Cordúa and eventually his son David rediscovered and interpreted these foods for a contemporary audience. Night after night, plate after plate, 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.

John DeMers is a well-known food writer and cultural critic. He has written 50 books, as well as several plays and two Texas-set musicals. His “Delicious Mischief” radio show runs weekly in Houston, Austin and Dallas, and he writes for several online and print magazines. He lives in Houston, Austin and Marfa.