The January 2008 issue of the Spanish-language magazine Siempre Mujer includes a list of the United States’ best Latino chefs. Some of the usual suspects are on there, such as Washington, D.C.-based José Andrés and Douglas Rodriguez in Miami. But so is Sylvia Casares, the self-made chef of Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen in Houston.She started out working in test kitchens of a food manufacturer and then spent eight years on the sales end, peddling food to restaurants before striking out on her ...

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