Jose Garces

Jose Garces
© Henry S. Dziekan III/Getty Images

F&W Star Chef

Chef Jose Garces shares his most requested recipe, most influential cookbook and a tip for making entertaining easy.

Can you share one great entertaining tip?

Involve your guests! You don’t have to put them to work peeling potatoes, but everyone likes to feel useful, and engaging them in preparing and serving the meal helps to break the ice and encourages them to mingle and enjoy one another’s company.

What recipe do your fans request most?

My caldo gallego, or ham and white bean stew, is a favorite of my two biggest fans, my kids. It’s hearty, homey and incredibly satisfying, which makes it a perfect staple.

What’s your favorite cookbook of all time?
There are so many that have been important to me, but perhaps the most influential was The Art of South American Cooking, by Felipe Rojas-Lombardi. It’s one of the most inspirational books I’ve ever read. It started me down my professional path. Growing up in an Ecuadorian American household, I was always exposed to Latin food. But professionally, I got my start working with more classical French techniques. This book brought me back to the extraordinary diversity and richness of Latin cuisine.