Chef Biography

Donna Nordin was born and raised in San Diego and at age 18, went to Rouen, France to study.  Shortly thereafter, she enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu in Paris in order to expand her hobby. Following graduation, she began teaching cooking around the world, and in between, she studied with world-renowned pastry chef, Great Chef Gaston Lenotte.

In 1984, after teaching in Tucson for a few days, Chef Donna and her partner, Don Luria, began to conceptualize a new restaurant for Tucson.  Opening in early 1986, The Café Terra Cotta was an instant success.  Later in that year, Great Chefs taped Chef Nordin for their Great Chefs of the West television series for PBS.

In 2001, they moved their restaurant location and in 2009, after a great 23 year run, they decided to close it.  In 2011, Chef Donna Nordin began teaching Southwestern and French cuisine with her “Donna Nordin Cooks” series throughout the southwest.


Black Bean Chili with Sirloin and Asiago

Serving: 8 Print Black Bean Chili with Sirloin and Asiago By Great Chefs November 10, 2015 The most elegant chili you’ll ever make. Cubes of sirloin are added just before the chili is finished so that they remain tender. Toasting the spices brings out the flavor. Ingredients Dried Black Beans – 1 pound Ground Cumin […]

Prawns Stuffed with Goat Cheese on Tomato Coulis

Serving: 4 Print Prawns Stuffed with Goat Cheese on Tomato Coulis By Great Chefs November 10, 2015 Goat cheese flavored with cilantro and garlic is piped into butterflied shrimp, which are cooked in the oven and browned under the broiler. The stuffed shrimp are served on plates sauced with a Southwestern coulis of tomatoes, cilantro, […]

Mocha Framboise

Serving: 16 Print Mocha Framboise By Great Chefs November 10, 2015 Raspberry, walnut, coffee, and chocolate are combined into one delicious dessert. Layers of bittersweet chocolate cake and walnut cake are separated by raspberries and both chocolate and coffee buttercream. It is an inspired combination. Ingredients Cake Eggs – 14, separated, at room temperature Sugar […]

Warm Chocolate-Hazelnut Bread Pudding

Serving: 24 Print Warm Chocolate-Hazelnut Bread Pudding By Great Chefs October 6, 2015 Chocolate bread puddings are laced with hazelnut bits and centered with melted chocolate. They are served with coffee ice cream on a plate sauced with creme anglaise and garnished with fresh fruit. Let the liquid chocolate centers be a surprise for guests! […]

Shrimp Flautas

Serving: 12 – 18 Print Shrimp Flautas By Great Chefs October 5, 2015 Shrimp, ground and chopped, fill rolled flour tortillas that are fried and served with tomatillo sauce. All the flavors of southwestern cuisine are here — cilantro, chipotles, tomatillos, garlic, and salsa. Ingredients Shrimp Flautas Shrimp – 1-1/2 pounds, peeled and cleaned Cilantro […]

Restaurant Information

Phone: 520.299.8100


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