Explore the tropical flavors and rich culinary traditions of America's island paradise. Puerto Rico, a land of gorgeous beaches and luxurious resorts, also boasts a rich culinary culture with a mix of influences: Spanish, African, Taíno (Native American), and French. For adventurous mainland cooks in pursuit of exotic flavors, this book offers exciting new territory, and for Puerto Rican descendants everywhere, it pays tribute to the beloved homeland. Jose Santaella presents foods that only a local would know: the tradition of lechón--spit-roasted suckling pig--in the mountains near the rainforest, or dumplings of mashed plantains with land crab hand-rolled in ramshackle shacks along the shore. Among the book's more than one hundred recipes are classics like Salt Cod Fritters with Pique and Fried Whole Snapper with Pineapple and Cilantro Salsa, as well as contemporary creations, such as Avocado and Papaya Salad and Curried Goat with Lime and Orange Rice. Cocina Tropical captures the flavors and spirit of this truly enchanting island.
"I often say that at elBulli we learned the most from other chefs who came to cook with us. This applies to Jose Santaella, among a few others. With rigor, sensitivity, and generosity, Jose shared the dishes and knowledge of his Puerto Rico and became a very important person in our kitchen. I invite you to enjoy the tropical delights that Jose passionately offers in these pages."
"This collection of personal, local, and iconic recipes makes me smile and immediately transports me back to the magical island of Puerto Rico. Cocina Tropical gives me the perfect excuse to bring my family and friends together, to fill the house with salsa music, to dance, to eat, to laugh, and to once again enjoy all the simple pleasures that life offers us."
"Jose Santaella embraces his undeniably rich heritage and its vast diversity with extreme passion and pride. He flirts with modern Caribbean food while holding tightly to the island's cocina criolla and its traditional recipes. Just looking at the photographs takes me back to the inviting aromas, flavors, and colors of Puerto Rico. Jose lovingly shares a taste of his paradise with us in Cocina Tropical."
About the Author
Jose Santaella trained with Ferran Adrià, Eric Ripert, and Gary Danko before opening his own eponymous restaurant in his native San Juan. Santaella has been lauded in Departures, Delta Sky, Food & Wine, Ralph Lauren Magazine and Marie Claire. Eric Ripert is the chef of Le Bernardin and the author of four cookbooks.