Wednesday, April 21, 2010 at 5:45 p.m.
Sometimes, mom really does know best.
Growing up in Mexico, America Corrales learned how to cook most of the items on her menu from her mother. Because of these memories in the kitchen, Corrales says she makes sure her daughters learn the same techniques.
Corrales was 14-years-old when her mother died so she packed up her life in Sinaloa and landed in Arizona to live with her brother, who was attending ASU. She continued cooking while going to school and eventually ran a classroom of her own. That's when she met her husband. Terry Bortin fell in love with America (and her food) and persuaded her to share her recipes with people outside of her own family and friends ... OK, so maybe husbands know some things, too.
Today, it's hard to pass up either of her now two taco shop locations -- she's on Seventh Avenue and Seventh Street -- as each has it's own fiery paint job complete with large signs claiming the "Best Carne Asada in Town." Don't believe em? Check out our own review
Today, Corrales shares her own teaching methods in the kitchen, her love of Facebook and her plans for a summer menu.
Never in the kitchen: At home, I'm trying to keep sweets out of my kitchen because of my daughters. At work, I'm very picky about the food that comes out of the kitchen. I wrote all of those recipes from things I make for my own family. So if I see something that's not being done properly, it's not pretty.
Hardest Kitchen Lesson: Talking and working with employees has been one of the toughest things to learn to do well. Sometimes they don't listen or they're actually worse than my own children or the children I used to teach. In the kitchen, it's a challenge for me because it's either done done 100 percent right or 100 percent wrong.
Social Media: We have a lot of things going on with social media right now and Facebook has helped us in a big way, I love it. Terry posts the specials of the day and I think it really brings people in to try new things. It's exciting to see that restaurants and chefs can use these technologies to their own advantages.
Next Out of the Kitchen: Terry and I have two locations right now and we get asked if we will open a third. He says yes, I say no -- it's funny. I think we will open a third once we figure everything out and things get settled.
(This was part two of our Chef Chat with America Corrales of America's Taco Shop. Check out part one and stay tuned for a recipe tomorrow.)