Contemporary Southwest
The Café Terra Cotta Cookbook

By Donna Nordin

Contemporary Southwest 
In Contemporary Southwest: The Café Terra Cotta Cookbook, chef and restaurateur Donna Nordin brings together 85 recipes for the food that has earned her national acclaim and repeatedly landed Café Terra Cotta on lists of America's best restaurants. Donna's passion for spice has long been the guiding principle of her restaurant, and her flavorful, innovative contemporary southwestern cooking has kept diners coming back again and again.

The dishes that Donna serves at Café Terra Cotta fulfill her original concept of what southwestern cuisine should be:

  • Based on the fundamental ingredients native to the American Southwest and northern Mexico—chiles, corn, tomatoes, squash, and beans.
  • Grounded in the cooking traditions of Mexico, especially the Yucatan, central Mexico, and Oaxaca, where the sauces are more robust, complex, and balanced.
  • Combination of classical French and contemporary cooking techniques and presentation styles with an emphasis on absolutely fresh ingredients.

The success of Café Terra Cotta proves that techniques and ingredients of different cuisines can come together in a way that outlasts fads.

While all her dishes dazzle the palate, a subtle Garlic Custard and smooth Avocado Vichyssoise are as much a part of her repertoire as the spicy kick of Mango-Pear Salsa and fiery punch of Fried Jalapeño Ravioli. Donna's signature style carries over into the dessert course with a tequila-laced chocolate Arizona Princess Cake, just one of her many sophisticated studies in flavor. One taste of any of the recipes in Contemporary Southwest illustrates why Donna is one of the country's most respected chefs.


About the Author

Donna Nordin studied classic French cooking at Le Cordon Bleu and pastry with Gaston Lenôtre. Donna lives in Tucson, Arizona, where she owns and operates the first Café Terra Cotta, considered one of the pioneering restaurants of the new southwestern cuisine. She also operates the second Café Terra Cotta, in Scottsdale, and two other Tucson restaurants: the Tohono Chul Tea Room and Chul.


Buy the Book!


Contemporary Southwest
The Café Terra Cotta Cookbook

By Donna Nordin
Ten Speed Press, March 2001
Hardcover, $29.95
168 pages with full color photographs
ISBN: 1-58008-180-0
Information provided by the publisher.


Contemporary Southwest



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This page created June 2001

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