Celebrity chef, John Tesar, may have a little competition on his hands, and it’s coming right from his very own kitchen at Knife, in the Highland Hotel Dallas. His prep station cook, Leticia Alcaraz Cabuto has made her mark by creating a stellar menu item that has diners coming back for more. Always having a love of cooking and experimenting with dishes, one day Leticia added some of her own touches to a traditional tomato soup. It didn’t take long to realize that her secret ingredients were a big hit, and her new version of tomato soup became a coveted part of the Knife menu.
There’s not much that goes on in Chef Tesar’s kitchen that he doesn’t know about, but Leticia’s tomato soup is a first. Even he doesn’t know the secret ingredients behind her masterpiece and she isn’t planning on divulging anytime soon.
Born in Nayarit, Mexico, Leticia grew up with a rich palate of Mexican cuisine that consisted primarily of a homogenous fusion of Spanish and indigenous foods. Mixing ingredients and spices is second nature to Leticia and has become a natural element of her cooking that has found its way into Knife’s kitchen.
The restaurant is a modern twist on a traditional steakhouse with a menu that offers everything from Texas-sourced meats to specialty dishes, including a 240-day dry-aged Niman Ranch rib-eye.
Being part of the opening team at Knife, Leticia is grateful that Chef Tesar gave her an opportunity to have her own menu item and thinks perhaps; it won’t be her last!
Leticia’s love of traditional dishes is the inspiration behind her tomato soup and it is garnished with creamy avocados and Vermont cheddar.
Full Name: Leticia Alcaraz Cabuto
Where are you from? Nayarit, Mexico
Position at Knife: Prep Station Cook
How long have you worked at the hotel? 10 years with hotel.
Is the tomato soup a family recipe or did you create it yourself? It is my own creation.
How long has this recipe been around? 3 years.
What is the story behind the tomato soup making it on the Knife menu? It was my own creation from the beginning after adding my own touches and finally making it the best. Every single time it takes a lot of heart, effort and dedication. The flavor gets better as well. Once many people sampled my tomato soup it was put on the menu and so far it has been very successful.
Is it true that nobody at the restaurant knows how to make it other than you, even Chef Tesar? Nobody knows what I put in my tomato soup and it’s my own recipe.
What makes it so special? It took a lot of dedication, effort, and different trials. It’s great when you get compliments from guests and coworkers about how good it is. It’s also fantastic that is on an amazing menu like Knife’s!
Anything else interesting we should know? Thank you everyone for trying my special tomato soup and for those of you that haven’t I hope you will. It has been very successful so far and hopefully one day it can be recognized at higher level.
What’s your favorite aspect about sharing your food with others? I feel proud and great sharing my food with others.
What is your comfort food/favorite meal? Besides traditional food and snack from Mexico; I like Italian, American and TexMex foods.
If you had your own restaurant, what type of food would you be serving? I would serve Mexican food including my soup as an appetizer, Chilaquiles, Chiles Rellenos, Ceviche, Bistek a la Mexicana, Tamales with vegetables, Guacamole, Pico de gallo and much, much more.
How did you learn to cook? From my Mother, she was a great cook!
Will you ever let Chef Tesar in on your secret recipe? NO!!!!!
3 Words that describe your soup? Delicious, exquisite and rich.