Years before Central and South American cooking became the newest new thing, chef Michael Cordúa was introducing Houston diners to the New World’s distinctly tropical flavors.

His latest and most casual restaurant, Amazón Grill (1800 Post Oak Boulevard), melds culinary ideas that range from northern Mexico to southern Argentina. “I like to play sweet against hot,” he says, “so in this dish I combined plantains and a creamy chipotle sauce with the basic ingredients—shrimp and chicken.” The mix tops a rustic bread pudding bolstered with crumbled cheese and fresh spinach. “This recipe isn’t pure or classical,” Cordúa admits, “but I love the challenge of creating something new. That’s what makes it fun.”

Try this recipe for Savory Shrimp and Plantains With Spinach Bread Pudding from Amazón Grill, Houston.