Diana Delatorre

Taste Testing: "Viva la Vida"

Viva La Vida is not just a nifty Coldplay tune, it's also a fairly useful cookbook. Colombian chef Rafael Palomino's sophomore effort, Viva la Vida: Festive Recipes for Entertaining Latin Style, offers easy to follow recipes for entertaining—Latin style.  The brain behind Sonora restaurant, Chef Palomino's dishes takes his reader on a culinary roadtrip of Latin American flavors and traditions using a basic and accessible approach.

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Taste Testing: Tapas, A Taste of Spain in America

The Book

Early in his career, chef Jose Andres trained at the legendary El Bulli under none other than the famed Ferran Adria. Hearing the announcement that El Bulli will close for the next two years, I felt wistful for a taste of Spain and a bit depressed that I may never have the chance to eat at one of the world's best restaurants. Luckily, I found just the remedy with Andres's Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America.

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Taste Testing: Cuisine à Latina

Justice Sonia Sotomayor's appointment to the Supreme Court got me thinking about all the strong Latina role models I know. One of these women, Chef Michelle Bernstein, is the brain behind two of my favorite restaurants in my hometown of Miami, Michy's and Sra. Martinez. You have to love a beautiful dancer who willingly hangs up her ballet shoes and tutu in favor of an apron and the hustle and bustle of a commercial kitchen. At least, I do!

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Taste Testing: Rancho La Puerta

Some people dream of visiting the Great Wall or climbing Mt. Kilamanjaro. I dream of a trip to Rancho La Puerta. Deborah and Edmond Szekely founded Rancho La Puerta in 1940 and vacations there are reputed to have healing properties for mind, body and spirit. 70 years of experience in making tasty, healthy food is nothing to sneeze at so I was thrilled to get my copy of Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta. I enlisted the help of some dear friends and longtime feasting partners to help me with this menu.

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Taste Testing: Ralph Brennan's New Orleans Seafood Cookbook

New Orleans is a city bounded by bayous, countless canals and the mighty Mississippi so it's no wonder that Ralph Brennan's New Orleans Seafood Cookbook highlights the bounty of these waters. Truly a melting pot, the people of New Orleans are descended from French, Canadian, Spanish, Haitian, Native American, Italian and African peoples and this fusion is best exemplified by the city's marvelous music and food.

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Taste Testing: Latin Lover Lite

Latin Lover Lite by Chef LaLa

Low on funds? Is making this Valentine's Day special proving especially difficult? Then I have some good news! You don't need a lot of money to show your beloved that you care. What you need is Latin Lover Lite by Chef LaLa. Trained as a nutritionist, Chef LaLa's book aims to keep all of the flavor of traditional Latin food while eliminating the fat.

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Taste Testing: Mexicocina

Mexicocina: The Spirit and Style of the Mexican Kitchen
by Betsy McNair (Author), Melba Levick (Photographer)
$24.95 at amazon.com

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