Chef Jose Garces's Latest Book is a Spectacular Journey Through Traditional Latin Cooking

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Kathleen Quigley for GPA -- Chef Jose Garces, famed nationally for creating top-tier restaurants, chooses to call Philadelphia “home,” and has added much to the city's already enviable culinary profile. Garces is well known for several establishments, and if you've lived in Philadelphia for a while, you are very likely familiar with the names Amada, Distrito and Garces Trading Company, among others. His latest book The Latin Road Home shows that for Garces, food and family are intertwined.

Last fall, Garces put out his second cookbook entitled The Latin Road Home: Savoring the Foods of Ecuador, Spain, Cuba, Mexico and Peru. With anecdotes about family get-togethers and Ecuadorian heritage, the book is filled not only with tantalizing recipes, but also a personal touch that cannot be imitated.

In the introductory passages to the sections arranged by the five countries, Garces elaborates on the idiosyncrasies of each region's cuisine, from celebrating the flavors of Cuba's seafood-centric dishes, to Spanish cooking's particularly formative influence on Garces when he was a younger chef.

His prose is carefully crafted, and re-creates the excitement of Garces's own discoveries of the bounty of what food each unique place has to offer. There is something in the pages for everyone's palette. Another plus? It is probably the most beautiful cookbook you will ever see. The recipes lack pretension, instead possessing that feeling of traditional food that nourishes you and those you love.

Garces also writes about his path that led him to kitchens around the United States and eventually to Philadelphia, where he and his family now reside full-time.

The real “Latin Road Home” has been exactly that for Garces- a focus in his career and creativity that reveal a deep passion and reverence toward his roots. Part autobiography, part collection of recipes, Garces has shared something very special through this book.  

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All images courtesy of www.garcesgroup.com