Quite the road trip for Jose Garces

Chef Jose Garces

When he’s not at one of his 15 restaurants scattered across five different cities, Jose Garces can sometimes be found on the set of “Iron Chef America,” scrambling to create a meal out of secret ingredients in “Kitchen Stadium.” But  even though his flagship Amada has been packed since opening in 2005, Garces considers his own kitchen an escape.  

“More so then ever I find cooking a really calming, soothing place to be,” says the Ecuadoran-American chef. “I have that time in the kitchen where I can just relax, I’ll have the game on, a glass of wine — just doing it.”

Like his cooking, Garces’ new cookbook, “The Latin Road Home,” is about more than the food. Part menus, part memoir, it looks at five countries — Ecuador, Spain, Cuba, Mexico and Peru — that have shaped his life, career and approach to the culinary arts. While it’s a journey that tastes pretty well-rounded, it’s clear that there will be a sequel. Even at this stage in the game — he owns seven  restaurants in the city — Garces is still learning, particularly on his Bucks County farm.

“It’s new to me, for sure. I grew up in Chicago, in the city, and so it’s exciting, it’s great to be out there,” he says of Luna Farms. “At home, we plan pretty extensive meals, and since we’ve gotten the farm, we’ve been inspired to use all the fresh vegetables we’re harvesting. When you have that bounty, it forces creativity.”

Chef picks

We asked Garces for some expert advice on dining out in Philly:
   
“Recently I went to Tashan and had a great meal. I recommend the minced Kobe kebab  — it’s delicious. All their breads are really good, too.”
  
“I also recently went to Kanella. They have really fresh Cypriot cuisine. It was really tasty — had that authentic, Mediterranean feel to it.”

Farm fail

It’s not all picturesque produce on Garces’ farm. After attempting to salvage a field of overdue tomatoes, he got a taste of what it’s like to lose to a veggie (welcome to our world, Jose).

“We went up to the farm and we were like, we’re going to lose a lot of tomatoes. So we go through this whole process to decore and skin the tomatoes so we could can them. We had them in a cooler, and then the next day they were bad. So they went back in the compost, which felt OK,” he says.

If you go

“The Latin Road Home” officially hits counter tops Monday. To celebrate, Garces is hosting a dinner Tuesday night at JG Domestic ($125, 2929 Arch St.) featuring dishes from each of the book’s five chapters, along with a signed copy of the book itself.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Breaking: Local

Judge rules Tsarnaev can view victim autopsy photos

Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev can view the autopsy photographs of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

International

Nearly 300 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.

Local

Tsarnaev defense lawyers in court Wednesday, seek family…

Lawyers for accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are due in court Wednesday to ask a judge to order prosecutors to hand over more information on the defendant's family.

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 16: 'The Americans,'…

'The Americans' Philip and Elizabeth face "painful turns" in their missions. Maybe next week they'll have a nice easy mission with no moral ambiguity? Probably…

Going Out

Pastoral provides a country feel in the big…

One thing any packrat crafter will note on walking into Pastoral is how much fun chef/owner Todd Winer undoubtedly had in designing this, his first…

Movies

Review: 'Bears' is a cute Disney doc about…

Disney's latest nature doc, "Bears," doesn't completely shy away from the fact that its subjects would devour you (or eachother) if they had the chance.

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

MLB

MLB video highlights: White Sox beat Red Sox…

Red Sox fall on walk-off error to White Sox

NBA

NBA Draft Lottery day is May 20: Celtics…

NBA Draft Lottery day is Tuesday, May 20: Celtics percentage odds for a top overall pick

MLB

Opinion: Major League Baseball replay system shouldn't be…

Opinion: Major League Baseball replay system shouldn't be dumped just yet

NHL

Bruins - Red Wings preview: David Krejci ready…

Bruins - Red Wings preview: David Krejci ready to erupt once again in playoffs

Wellbeing

Could a facelift give you the edge at…

It's not just women lining up for procedures.

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.