I just downloaded a new free bimonthly magazine for the iPad called the Latin Dish from Via Vargas Media. The editor is Joe Vargas Bock, who writes in his letter to the editor, “Our goal for the Latin Dish is to celebrate Latin American food by exploring its distinctiveness and educating each other on its role in current society, its root cultures, and the way it has evolved, all while giving recognition to the ways in which each of us makes it our own.”
In the first issue is a tribute to Jacqueline Vargas Bock’s grandmother Hope Saldaña Vargas along with her traditional tamale recipe, which her daughters make every Christmas. There’s also an article on Austin eats and food trucks, the history of pralines (a Tex-Mex favorite, who knew?), a brief treatise on making tortillas (how about a video, too, so we can see how it’s done?) and an interview with Cuban American chef Fernando Saralegui of the family cooking show Papi’s Kitchen.
Edible landscaping pioneer Rosalind Creasy, author of “Edible Mexican Garden” (Tuttle Publishing, 2000) has a story called “Cooking from the Mexican Garden.” That’s not everything in the table of contents, but enough to give an idea of where the publication is headed.
The first issue has a sweet homemade quality to it, especially the photos. If the staff can keep up the quality of the articles and cover the whole spectrum of Latin cuisine, the magazine could work. Definitely. But it can’t be just a family project. And it could use someone more knowledgeable to write about Latin wines. I’d love to see something on the Baja wine country and the chefs there. How’s that for a second issue theme?
-- S. Irene Virbila
Photos: Cover of the Latin Dish iPad magazine, chef Fernando Saralegui. Courtesy of the Latin Dish.