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Alex Stupak
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Tacos: Recipes and Provocations

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  279 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Superstar chef Alex Stupak's love of real Mexican food changed his life; it caused him to quit the world of fine-dining pastry and open the smash-hit Empellón Taqueria in New York City. Now he'll change the way you make--and think about--tacos forever. 
TACOS is a deep dive into the art and craft of one of Mexico's greatest culinary exports. We start by making fresh torti
ebook, 240 pages
Published October 20th 2015 by Clarkson Potter
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  279 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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I confess I bought this book solely for the chapter on tortillas because grocery store corn tortillas taste like cardboard, and flour tortillas have become ridiculously expensive for what they are. Now the question becomes, will I actually take the time to do it? Maybe. Just not all the time. I know me.

As for the rest of the book, I'm ambivalent. Stupak has that "celebrity chef" title that is usually laden with pretentiousness, preciousness, and more emphasis on enhancing the personal marketing
Aug 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tacos for the true gourmet. Not for the Taco Bell gourmand.

This beautiful book has balls. I don't recall a recipe for Rocky Mountain oysters tacos but wouldn't be surprised if there is one. Along with basic recipes for proficient mole sauce and pork carnitas, the book featured tripe and tongue tacos. The recipes are uncompromising with the soul of a well-traveled chef who loves every single of these dishes.
Robert Durough, Jr.
In the famous words of George Tekei, “Oh, my!” Tacos: Recipes and Provocations is not your mother’s cookbook. This racy, mouthwatering, intriguing collaborative journey through food and culture by Alex Stupak and Jordana Rothamn is what I want all my future food books to imitate. Yes, simple recipe books have their place on my shelves, but none of them make me want to prepare and eat the fruit of their bullet points as does this delectable literature and makes-me-want-to-eat-the-page photogr ...more
Shava Nerad
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is not just a cookbook, but a gastronomic love story about masa, the hominy dough that tortillas are made from, by a chef who never grew up with the stuff. This is the fusion chef who invented the jalapeno popper, y'all -- the world owes him a debt of....well, something, lol. This book is written with so much love it just oozes from the pages like tasty melted cheese, into your heart.

There's a lot of technique, but a lot of it's on that level of the adventure chef -- grinding your own homin
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wouldn't normally write about a cookbook on Goodreads. Then again, I wouldn't normally pick up a cookbook to look at the introduction and put it down several hours later after reading it cover to cover. Stupak is a former pastry chef at places like Alinea and WD-50 who now runs a taqueria. As you can expect, his take on tacos is very interesting and he both honors and challenges the traditions in Mexican cuisine. If you know me, you know that nothing could be more up my alley. In full disclosu ...more
May 03, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book gives a great introduction to Mexican cuisine and ingredients. However, I did not like the fact that there are very few pictures. Why not give photos of different chillies and ingredients as they talk about them. A cookbook with few photos of ingredients and finished dishes is not very appealing to me. Especially of a cuisine a person may not be familiar with.
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cook-books
The most valuable aspect of this cookbook is that is breaks down the basics... an explanation of classic Mexican flavors and ingredients, how to make a variety of sauces and salsas, and how to build corn and flour tortillas. The focus is on tacos, but the applications go beyond.
Michael Baum
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book

Informative, traditional with modern flair. The chef is content with doing the simple things well, yet goes above and beyond when necessary to create familiar takes on Mexican cuisine.
Rachel Rogers
Jul 06, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting and delicious sounding recipes but not something likely to be tried in my kitchen. Obviously need to get to a restaurant that makes real tortillas though. Yummy!
Robin Fox
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This is my Go To book for all things Tacos! Full of inspiration for authentic, non-traditional, and/or artistic taco creations.
Jul 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you love tacos

The ultimate tacos recipe book. Made my first carnitas taco based on this book. Kids loved it. What else can you expect from a book?
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book changed my life
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are looking for authentic Mexican tacos this is a really good book.
Rosemary Burton
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best modern cookbook

I want to give this ten stars. A rare find in information, great stories about the authors and WONDERFUL recipes. Everyone should own a copy.
Kim H.
Oct 13, 2015 rated it liked it
I believe I have never eaten a "real" taco.

I'm not easily intimidated by cooking/food books, however, Alex Stupak's Tacos: Recipes and Provocations, left me quivering. Not only did I discern a visceral sense that I would never be able to measure up in the taco making realm while reading Stupak's book, I also sensed a longing for said "real" taco that may never be fulfilled. All in all, I felt a bit empty.

The book is lovely to look at and inspiring in its attempt to familiarize us gringos with th
Nora St Laurent
Nov 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m honored and thrilled to be introduced to Alex Stupack whose passion for Mexican food jumps off every page. Alex talks to readers as if they are standing in the kitchen alongside him. This Chef tells it like it is. He is zealous in describing his unexpected journey and what he discovered along the way. He has a few colorful words mixed in talking about his revelations.

The Chef says, “I’m a white boy from suburban Massachusetts. In fact, I wouldn’t even consider Mexican food that didn’t come w
This book is delicious, educational, and sassy. A winning combination in my mind.
Sandra Lassiter
I love tacos. Frankly, I love tortillas, and just about anything you can do with them. I have fond memories of a missions trip to Mexico when I was a little girl and some of the local ladies fed us with fresh tortillas and frijoles, or living in a tiny village in Alaska and wanting tacos, so my dad and I made them from scratch. I was so excited to get this book and dive into real, authentic Mexican tacos. Ummm, not so much. There is some great recipes for basic tortillas and tacos, but there are ...more
Oct 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Tacos is absolutely gorgeous, one of those cookbooks that’s also an art book, the kind of volume you want to pet (great cover texture!) and wander through, while losing track of time. The pretty starts right on the flyleaves, which feature a checkerboard layout of salsa photos: orange, green, red, brown, yellow.

This book may tell you waaay more than you need to know about tacos, but need is irrelevant. You’ll want to take in all the details. You’ll learn about essential spices, molcajetes for gr
Tacos by Alex Stupak and Jordana Rothman, is an informative hardcover book full of how-to photos and truly beautiful food.

This cookbook might just be the only book you will ever need on Mexican cuisine. It covers everything from making traditional tortillas to recipes for spinach, beet, and saffron tortillas as well. Salsas and condiments make up a large portion of the book. The authors even show step by step photos on how to prepare Cochinita Pibil THE HARD WAY. They also have an easier recipe
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hardcore foodies
Shelves: cooking, diy, non-fiction
Plot: Boy saved from life of molecular gastronomy and modernist cuisine by the humble taco and dedicates his life to uplifting the taco to haute cuisine with a gushing of purple foodie prose.

I love tacos, but this is over the top, do you really need ingredients like black garlic and sea urchin tongues to make a great taco? Not much here for cooks, I recommend Mexican Everyday for people wanting to cook Mexican food.
Jan 27, 2016 rated it did not like it
This book is full of information, just too much for me. I will probably never dig a pit to roast my whole pig in. I don't want to try beer-braised tongue tacos or lamb tartare tacos or goat tacos, not to mention the 4 pages on tripe. Yuk! Probably won't ever try the fava & blood sausage tacos or sea urchin ones either. The shishito pepper tacos looked yummy. Deviled egg tacos sound a little odd, but edible. ...more
Catriona Rackham
Jan 31, 2017 rated it did not like it
This man is as rambling as they come. The recipes themselves are fine, and some are even good recipes. But the man is extremely long-winded and... a liar, he claims he invented the jalapeño popper when he was born in 1980 and there is evidence they were served in restaurants in the 80's (not to mention they were trademarked in 1992). He has plenty of achievements it is beyond me why he felt the need to lie about such a thing. Maybe he should chill.
David Struthers
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed book completely. There are recipes I may never try, however I thought the content was thorough and easy to understand. We have made regular, beet and spinach tortillas along with oven roasted verde salsa. Delicious everyone. I agree that the flavour of a homemade tortilla is superior to anything store bought. Only one correction, no where in oven roasted verde did I see when to add chilies. Be fairly well versed in prep work, we figured it out. Thanks for sharing.
Dec 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Extremely intense book about tacos. It's a fun read. The recipes are mainly high-effort restaurant food with complex sauces. Bottom line, I'm not going to make any of these recipes, but I am going to go out and get tacos for lunch at the place by the Mexican Consulate with a little more knowledge, so win-win.
Dec 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: creativity, food
I have made two batches of tortillas so far, I very much want to make chipotle salsa, and I hope to get a cast iron pan sometime. Great pictures, very interesting reading on nixtamalization - I wondered if you could try it on garbanzo beans for hummus or if that might make you sick, plus I'm nervous about working with a strongish base like that.
Degan Walters
Feb 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Beautiful pictures recipes interspersed with history, politics and other bits of writing. The idea here is to elevate the taco to haute cuisine and while I think that's admirable and interesting, I wasn't compelled to make many of the recipes.
Patience Wallace
Aug 29, 2016 rated it did not like it
Pretentious and unrealistic.
Mark R Ridings
rated it it was amazing
May 18, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Feb 28, 2016
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