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The Latin Road Home: Savoring the Foods of Ecuador, Spain, Cuba, Mexico, and Peru Hardcover – October 8, 2012
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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. (Chef Masaharu Morimoto)
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. (Kimberly Masibay Fine Cooking, October 2012)
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. (Paula Forbes Eater, October 2012)
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. (Maureen Fitzgerald, Food Editor The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 5, 2012)
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Top Customer Reviews
Jose Garces is the chef and owner of Amada, and has won many awards, such as the 'Best Chef Mid-'Atlantic award in 2009. He is a master of Latin cuisine, and his book reflects this in a beautiful way. There are gorgeous pictures throughout, of the food, and the countries. The book is arranged in chapters, with each chapter featuring the food of one country that has influenced Garces the most. The chapters include Ecuador, Spain, Cuba, Mexico, and Peru. Garces thoughtfully provides a map of each country, and Quick Info about each country, with information about the Land, People, and Food. On the side, in the margin, is a list of historical notes. So if you dislike reading about history, you can easily skip that part! I love reading about why a particular country is of interest to Garces as well. I turned to that first to see, for example, how he is connected to the foods of Peru and Cuba, since his parents came from Ecuador.
The recipes are arranged in menus, which is very thoughtful for those of us who would like to prepare an entire meal. There are several menus for each country, some short, and some very long. For example, from Ecuador we have a menu of Crab Ceviche, Salt Cod and Legume Chowder, Griddled Potato Cakes with Queso Fresco, Aji Mushrooms with Ginger and Saffron, and Figs in Honey Syrup with Goat Cheese. He also has a beautiful and mouth watering section on Empanadas. From Spain we have a menu consisting of Almond Gazpacho with Smoked Trout, Butter-Toasted Marcona Almonds, Seafood Vermicelli Paella, and Piquillo Pepper Aioli. A menu from Cuba features Lobster in Spicy Tomato Sauce, Fried Stuffed Chiles, and Garbanzo Bean Salad with Lemon-Dijon Dressing.Read more ›
The recipes in the book are classic Ecuadorian dishes (and other latin countries as well) revised. For instance, I have never had a ceviche in Ecuador with avocado in it, but that is the recipe in the book.
I have cooked a lot of dishes from this book already, and they all have a great flavor, HOWEVER, most of the recipes have the cooking time wrong. For instance, the pork for the Cubano sandwich takes twice as long to reach the desired temperature (from 45 to 90 minutes), and the beans from the mexican section take half as long to reach the desired consistency.
I can forgive this mistakes for the strength this book has in terms of the flavors and cooking techniques.
Some people have commented on the fact that this book is not for beginners, I agree. Especially since many of these traditional recipes take many hours of preparation, for instance the Ecuadorian Fig desert, takes about 3 days to be completed. But that is not Garces fault, it is actually the beauty of this book because you get to season something, let it rest for a day, and have an explosion of flavors!
So enjoy and cheers to cooking !
First, as others have noted, it is beautiful and entertaining to read. It is more than a book of recipes, it is a story about traveling, home, and family which is supplemented with recipes so that you can experience the tastes and smells of the places of the book. That isn't to say it isn't a cookbook. It is. But it is more too.
I have tried a variety of the recipes. Notable favorites from my home crowd are the recipes from the Mexico section. The pastel de tres leche was RIDICULOUS - in a good way. The dark and stormy mojito, which is called la tormenta in the book? Worth going overboard in a hurricane. The carnitas was delicious.
I will say, many of the recipes will require a sense of adventure on the part of those who don't have experience with Latin cooking (I had little before this book but a great big sense of adventure). Some of the recipes require at least some culinary skill. But many of the recipes are incredibly accessible if only a person is willing to try a technique or ingredient they hadn't encountered before.
I really can't recommend it highly enough.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a terrific cookbook. It has a good selection of recipes from Latin America, that you may not have heard of before. Well written with lots of information,Published 2 months ago by Monikin East
Very nice insight in (mainly) Ecuadorian quisine in English language. Although recipes Quite "serrano" (as inhabitants from Sierra are called) for an "ex-mono"... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Really enjoyed this chef's perspective and the traditional Ecuadorian recipesPublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a most attractive book and contains lots of information about the Latin American countries covered. The photography is very beautiful, too. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Maggie Garside