Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Irma Paz shares home cooking secrets before Las Paletas return to Food Network July 19

Las Paletas, Irma Paz, and Norma Paz will be featured on new show Kid in a Candy Store

The Tennessean video above follows Irma Paz of Las Paletas through her approach toward home cooking, and we see her whipping up corn quiche, avocado-yogurt dressing, and seared white fish as she describes her philosophy of food prep for the family. The Tennessean those three recipes here, and Jennifer Justus' article accompanying the video is here. Excerpts from the interview:
Paz, who opened Las Paletas with her sister, Norma, about eight years ago, puts a fresh, healthy dinner on the table in under an hour most nights — often less than 30 minutes. For our Nashville Cooks series, she shows us how she does it.
Growing up in Guadalajara, Mexico, Paz spent time with her mother as she cooked, but she didn't necessarily learn to prepare certain dishes from her. Rather, she watched and listened.
"I think we're all capable. You don't have to come from my culture. You don't have to have a degree in culinary foods. You don't have to have a refrigerator full of things."
The Nashville Scene's Bites blog reported last Friday that Las Paletas and the Paz sisters
will be featured July 19 in the second week of a new Food Network show titled Kid in a Candy Store. Hosted by Adam Gertler, a former contestant on The Next Food Network Star, the show documents Gertler's trips across the country to find sweet things to eat. "He has a lot of energy," says Irma Paz Bernstein, who's coming up on nine years at Las Paletas. She says the segment was shot a couple of months ago, and it sounds something like Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with a focus on desserts.
Here are a few more stories about Irma and Norma Paz through the years...

From TN Connections, Summer 2010:
“Every day we have different flavors,” says Irma Paz-Bernstein, who owns the shop near downtown with her sister Norma Paz-Curtis. “There’s no menu, because what if there are no pineapples in Nashville? This way, whatever’s ripe, whatever’s in season, that’s what we make.”
In the sisters’ native Mexico, “paletas” refers to popsicles made with fresh ingredients.
From United Airlines' Hemisphere magazine, October 2009:
“I chose to attend this convention solely to try these paletas,” notes Bunny, who discovered the popsicle shop, Las Paletas, and its proprietors, the Paz Sisters, on a foodie website. “My favorite so far is avocado, but they’re all sublime.”...The sisters were raised on paletas, as they’re known in Mexico. “They’re part of the daily diet, part of the culture,” says Irma Paz-Bernstein, a former news producer for Telemundo and Univision, who grew up in Guadalajara and shares blending, squeezing, chopping and pureeing duties with big sister Norma Paz-Curtis.
From the Nashville Scene's Best of Nashville 2008:
Best Advertisement for Nashville...the frozen-treat face-off between the Paz sisters of Las Paletas and superstar chef Bobby Flay on his popular Food Network series Throwdown with Bobby Flay...Nothing made Nashville look cooler—no pun intended—than a pair of vivacious Latina hotties making gourmet ice pops that stopped even the unflappable Flay in his tracks, while a hometown audience cheered
From the Nashville City Paper, June 9, 2008:
Nashville’s best frozen treats for keeping summer cool...Sisters Norma and Irma Paz started the business six years ago after a visit to Mexico convinced them that there might be a market here for the refreshing treats...Las Paletas’ reputation reaches far beyond Music City. Chef Bobby Flay recently challenged the Paz sisters to a “Throw Down,” which will be featured on Food Network later this summer.
From the Nashville Business Journal, May 30, 2003:
The journey to what has become Las Paletas on 12th Avenue began when Norma Paz was looking for an opportunity to raise her children at home instead of sending them to day care.
She approached Irma, a television producer who globetrotted for Spanish language television stations Telemundo and Univision, with an offer to start a business.
See photos of the Paz sisters here (August 2008) and here (May 2003), and see photos of Las Paletas itself here.

Las Paletas recently moved a block or so north on 12 South, into the same building that houses Burger Up.

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