Watch this cookbook

Houston-born star chef's new TV special takes you on a culinary journey through the Bayou City

Star chef's new show takes viewers on culinary journey through Houston

Houston Cookbook David Cordua
David Cordua hosts The Houston Cookbook this Sunday. Photo by Alex Broussard / Houston Public Media
Houston Cookbook egusi soup and fufu
Nigerian dishes egusi soup and fufu. Photo by Alex Broussard / Houston Public Media
Houston Cookbook David Cordua Kiran Verma
Cordua learns to make chicken tikka masala from chef Kiran Verma. Photo by Alex Broussard / Houston Public Media
Houston Cookbook David Cordua
Houston Cookbook egusi soup and fufu
Houston Cookbook David Cordua Kiran Verma

Houston Public Media is taking viewers on a tour through the city’s culinary scene in a new special that airs this Sunday, November 18 at 5:30 pm. Hosted by chef David Cordua, the Houston Cookbook highlights some of the immigrant cooking traditions that have made the city their home.

In the tidy half hour, Cordua cooks chicken tikka masala chef Kiran Verma (Kiran’s), mole verde with Ana Beaven (Cuchara), pho with Tho Lam and Kim Oanh Vu (Pho One), Nigerian specialties egusi soup and fufu with Kavachi and Safari (Safari restaurant), and gochujang beef belly burnt ends with Quy Hoang (Blood Bros BBQ).

Cordua tells CultureMap that he filmed the episode this summer. He says he’s happy about the opportunity to show Houstonians more about the dishes they eat.

“One of the reasons I wanted to work in the kitchen was [while] backpacking through Thailand and Europe, I read Kitchen Confidential,” Cordua says. “Being able to be Anthony Bourdain in my own city is kind of a dream come true.”

The restaurants mix places that Cordua knows well, like Kiran’s, with a couple of places he hadn’t been in Pho One and Safari.  “They said, ‘we want this to be a discovery for you. We want you to be introduced to these people and cuisines,’” Cordua says.

So far, the show is just a one-off episode, but Cordua has some ideas for more if Houston Public Media decides to continue. “I would love to take it neighborhood by neighborhood. Exploring Asiatown for a day, exploring Long Point for a day.

“They didn’t give me any false expectations that it would be ongoing, but we’ll see what comes of it. I’m just honored to have been able to do that,” Cordua says.

Professionally, Cordua is a moment of transition. Since leaving Cordua Restaurants, he and his father Michael have started David + Michael Cordúa Events that keeps them busy with catering jobs. He’s also working on a new restaurant, which he describes as a wine-centric concept that’s coming to River Oaks in late 2019.

“I got an offer from a restaurant group that I’m considering in the interim,” he adds. “I haven’t decided on this current offer. I still want to work with my dad.”

Let’s call that TBA. For now, viewers will enjoy getting their first look at the Houston Cookbook.

The Houston Cookbook airs Sunday, November 18, at 5:30 on Houston Public Media TV 8. David Coruda and Blood Bros. BBQ are hosting a watch party at The Branch (7710 Long Point Road) from 4 pm to 9 pm.