My Top 5: Chef David Cordúa

Chef David Cordúa | Photo: Julie Soefer

Each week, “My Top 5” shines the spotlight on a Houstonian making great things happen in our city. In turn, each shares his own favorite ingredients that make Houston a particularly special place. This week, we’re extremely pleased to feature Chef David Cordúa of Cordúa Restaurants, which has nine restaurants serving delicious Latin flavors around the city and is celebrating the opening of its newest Churrascos in Champions on Tuesday, September 30, 2014.  

My Top 5 Things to Do in Houston

by Chef David Cordúa 

  1. Live Music – Jazz at Cezanne: this jazz bar is upstairs from The Black Lab Pub on Montrose. I’ve loved this place since high school. I first tried to get in under age by wearing a suit and got promptly rejected. Now it’s one of my favorite late night spots. There’s live jazz Friday and Saturday nights. It’s small, intimate and is the best jazz in the city. Last Concert Cafe is also a must. It’s sand, blues, Mexican food and an important institution of Houston.
  2. Hermann Park – Few things in the city are as well designed as this park. I discover new pockets of it every time I walk, jog or picnic there. Not to mention the free entertainment at the Miller Outdoor Theatre. There is a crazy stick house right now by artist Patrick Dougherty that’s pretty magical.
  3. Taquerias – My favorites right now are Tacos del Julio and Tacos la Bala. They’re the right kind of fast food. You pop in and out in three to four bites a taco. So simple and satisfying. Don’t skimp on their sauces.
  4. Omakase – Being fed piece by piece by a sushi chef giving you the best that he has makes you feel like royalty. MF Sushi and the older-but-super-solid Teppay, both on Westheimer are favorties.
  5. Long Point – There is so much to discover in this neighborhood. 99 Ranch and H-Mart are both fantastic Asian markets with great food stalls like LA Crawfish and Chicken & Joy for crispy spicy Korean fried chicken. Other notables in area restaurants are Pampas Grill, El Hidalguense, La Pupusa Loca and Seoul Garden.

About Chef David Cordúa

Born and raised in Houston, Chef David Cordúa is executive chef at Cordúa Restaurants, where he oversees quality, execution and menu development for nine award-winning restaurants–Américas, Churrascos, Artista and Amazón Grill–and  Cordúa Catering. Before taking on a leadership role in the family business, he earned Les Grand Diplômes in Cuisine and Pastry from the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and a finance degree from Santa Clara University. His impressive résumé includes working at La Tour d’Argent, one of Paris’ oldest restaurants, Dolce Hayes Mansion Resort & Spa in San Jose, California and at Popina Restaurant in Sonoma. In 2013, he co-authored the book Cordúa: Foods of the Americas with his father Chef Michael Cordúa, sharing many recipes and stories about their roots in Latin America and the family’s native Nicaragua. In summer 2014, both men led a weeklong culinary and cultural excursion to the country, sharing it with a select number of their customers for the very first time.