Presented By

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  1. The Elevation of Tex-Mex
    Mico Rodriguez
  2. The Bounty of the Barnett Shale
    Kelcy Warren
  3. The Entrepreneurial Woman
    Tomima Edmark
  4. The Growth of the Vietnamese Community
    Jennifer Nguyen
  5. The Founding of Uptown
    Phil Cobb
  6. The Changing Face of Politics
    Craig Watkins
  7. The Brain Gain
    Dr. Hao Zhu
  8. The Four Sport Town
    Mike Modano
  9. The Underground Culture
    Katherine Owens
  10. The Catholic Migration
    Father Ivan Asencio
  11. The Organized South Asian Community
    John Hammond
  12. The Next Way to Develop
    Jeff Blackard
  13. The Allure of the Silicon Prairie
    Anousheh Ansari
  14. The lighting of Reunion Tower
    George Schrader
  15. The New Old Tradition
    Jennifer Moreno
  16. The Test Kitchen
    Mariel Street
  17. The Art Magnet
    Kevin Moriarty
  18. The Glamorous Return of Dallas Shopping
    Brian Bolke
  19. The Strengthening of the Gay Community
    Jack Evans and George Harris
  20. The Resurgence of Downtown Dallas
    Art Ortiz
  21. The Megachurch Boom
    Ed Young
  22. The Fundraisers
    Lynn McBee
  23. The Refuge
    Pedro Amaya
  24. The Reason Dallas Took Off
    Ron Barzyk
  25. The Girl Who Stayed Home
    Erykah Badu
  26. The Preservation of Our Historic Buildings
    Virginia McAlester
  27. The Thriving Ethiopian Community
    Birhan Mekonnen
  28. The New Dallas ISD
    Jessica Leija
  29. The Rebirth of the Trinity River
    Peter Payton
  30. The Trains Start Running
    Ladrika Davis Gross
  31. The Architect of an Art Scene
    Stephen Lapthisophon
  32. The Calculator That Changed the World
    Vonnie Howard
  33. The Rise and Fall and Rise of Deep Ellum
    Frank Campagna
  34. The Big Move
    Kendra Norwood
  35. The Expanding Empire in Fort worth
    Scott Hernandez
  36. The Family Recipe
    Chuy Cruz
  37. The Transformation of Oak Cliff
    David Spence
  38. The Now-Legal Immigrant
    Jesus Castillo Carrizales
  39. The City of Philanthropists
    Lyda Hill
  40. The Transplants
    Tara Vornkahl
00 The Family Recipe After Easter brunch, Sunday, May 11, at 3:00pm at the back door of The Grape

Chuy Cruz

In 2000, Chuy Cruz was a dishwasher at the Grape. His brother Hector worked the prep area of the kitchen and was in charge of making the restaurant’s famous mushroom soup, a task he’d performed daily for six years. Hector had learned how to make the soup from their other brother Juan, who worked at the Grape for six years. And in 2001, Chuy, now 38, took over the soup detail, becoming the third Cruz brother to stir the pot. All together, the Cruz brothers have been making the soup for 25 years. 

The iconic soup has been served since Kathy McDaniel and Charlotte Parker opened the bistro on October 26, 1972. The original recipe was adapted by Frank Bailey, the first chef (and Kay Bailey Hutchison’s brother), from Craig Claiborne’s The New York Times Cookbook

Since its inception, the mixture of white button mushrooms, cream, flour, butter, onions, nutmeg, and bay leaf has become an aphrodisiac. Countless people have reached over a bowl to slip an engagement ring on a jittery finger. It’s also a source of comfort on a cold, rainy day. “I was very nervous the first time I made the soup,” Cruz says. “I am very proud to make this special soup.” 

Cruz produces about 15 gallons of mushroom soup a week, more during the winter. He doesn’t work from a recipe tacked on the wall; the proportions and ingredients have been passed down verbally. 

Current owner-chef Brian Luscher doesn’t keep the recipe secret. “We’ll give it to anyone who asks,” Luscher says. “But the magic gets lost in translation. They always come back here to eat it, because it never tastes the same when it’s made at home.” 

Cruz is the end of the line for his generation of the family, but he has three children of his own now. “The little one doesn’t like mushrooms,” Cruz says. “Brian doesn’t have to worry, because I’m never going to leave.”