W. Park Kerr's life changed in 1980 with a simple car ride to Mesilla Valley, Texas, an hour's drive from his home in El Paso, to buy a ristra-a string of chile peppers. A food career was born. He began selling ristra at a stand he set up in El Paso. Park's mother soon got involved, renting a booth at a Dallas gift show to great success.
Naming their operation The El Paso Chile Co., mother and son moved into a 10,000-sq. ft. space in an old cottonseed oil factory and hired a dozen workers to make chili ristras and wreaths. To solve the problem of a short chile-harvesting season that lasts only from October to December, they expanded the El Paso Chile Co. to include a line of barbecue sauces, mixes, and salsa dips.
Park is the author of two other Southwestern cookbooks: The El Paso Chile Company's Texas Border Cookbook and Burning Desires. He produces and appears in Let 's Get Cooking, a weekly three-minute food news and cooking insert on KVIA-TV El Paso. His show is also syndicated throughout the Southwest on ABC stations. He has appeared on QVC, Good Morning America, Regis and Kathie Lee, and CBS This Morning.
As a ninth-generation Texan, Kerr believes that West Texas is the finest place in the world to cook and eat. Kerr lives with his family in El Paso.
The El Paso Chile Company
By W. Park Kerr
William Morrow & Co.
Publication date: May 1998
Information provided by the publisher.
This page created May 1999
Copyright © 1994-2017,