Jose Garces Releases 'The Latin Road Home' Cookbook, Launches Garces Family Foundation

Jose Garces signing copies of his new book, The Latin Road Home

Iron Chef and restaurateur Jose Garces is having a great week. Last Tuesday, the Philadelphian (by way of Chicago) threw a party for his new cookbook The Latin Road Home. The next night, he and his wife Dr. Beatriz Garces hosted a fundraiser for their brand new nonprofit organization, The Garces Family Foundation, at the Kimmel Center. Tonight, Monday October 15, Garces will read from his new book at the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Parkway Central Branch.

Tuesday night’s party at J.G. Domestic was wild fun, filled not only with small plates from his second cookbook The Latin Road Home (the follow-up to 2008's Latin Evolution) , but several slow-roasted pigs, and ceviche, taco and dessert stations. At the event Garces and I spoke about the publicity he’s been receiving for his restaurants around the country and his taco trucks, as well as the new book. As he and my wife Glamorosi traded stories about her urban garden and his Bucks County farm, Garces said he loves growing his own food and could be happy as a full-time farmer.

The Wednesday affair at the Kimmel was a bit more serious, but not much, when you consider by night’s end, a Latin marching band played their way through the Kimmel’s lobby floor where all of Garces restaurants and a host of other local eateries were represented.

The Garces Family Foundation is set to build a community center in Philadelphia that will be aimed at aiding the growing immigrant community in matters of health care and related services. The Kimmel event also honored Dr. Steven Larson of Puentes de Salud, a Latino-focused non-profit health agency.

Garces with the Men Who Dine trio
The main attraction was Chef Garces himself and the super star team of chefs: Pierre Calmels (Bibou), Marc Vetri (Vetri), Kevin Sbraga (Sbraga), Jeff Michaud (Alla Spina) and Michael Solomonov (Zahav), all assembled to cook the five-course meal in the Kimmel’s recently opened Dorrance H. Hamilton Rooftop Garden. The dinner for top donors and special guests is where I ran into Mayor Michael Nutter and First Lady Lisa Nutter, Greater Philadelphia Film Office doyenne Sharon Pinkenson, and New York City food blogging trio, Men Who Dine. You’ll be able to catch Garces at the Kimmel Center more often as he now has a catering contract at the hall, and is opening a boutique restaurant there called Volver.

Tonight, foodies and cook book fans will get to interact with Garces and hear stories from his newest book during his reading at Free Library of Philadelphia's Parkway Central Branch. The Latin Road Home isn’t just filled with great new recipes and spicy tastes associated with Garces' restaurants; it is a look at his travels, specifically to the Spanish-speaking countries that helped mold his personality and shape his restaurant dynasty. The event is free, and starts at 7:30 PM.

Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Branch
(between 19th and 20th Streets on the Parkway)
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

Jose Garces Photo ©Glamorosi 2012

Inset photo ©Men Who Dine 2012

Posted on Monday, October 15, 2012 11:30 PM