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Cape illustrator Dominguez receives Christopher Award for ‘Nacho’s Nachos’

By Staff | May 13, 2021

Cape Coral-based illustrator Oliver Dominguez was honored with a 2021 Christopher Award for “Nacho’s Nachos.” The book, written by Sandra Nickel who lives in Chexbres, Switzerland, is one of 12 for adults and young people by 17 authors and illustrators recognized as the awards mark their 72nd year.

The author and illustrator join creators of 10 winning TV/cable and feature films honored with this year’s awards.

Nickel writes about the origin of one of the world’s favorite snacks and how Mexican cook Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya’s impromptu culinary creation grew popular in his home country and beyond.

The Christopher Awards were created in 1949 to celebrate authors, illustrators, writers, producers and directors whose work “affirms the highest values of the human spirit,” and reflects The Christopers’ motto: “It’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness,” said Tony Rossi, director of communications.

Ignacio was born in Mexico in 1895, and like a lot of Ignacios, he was nicknamed Nacho. Eventually he became head waiter at the Victory Club, a popular restaurant in Piedras Negras, Mexico, across the Rio Grande river from Eagle Pass, Texas. He improvised a new snack for American customers with what he had on hand: corn tortillas, cheddar cheese and jalapeno peppers. Nacho’s Special — which became known as nachos — was born in 1940.

Dominguez, a freelance illustrator in the summer, is a professor of illustration at Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota. Inspiration for his illustrations come from contemporary artists, photography, history books, as well as historical fashion.

Nickel, a native of Kansas, holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and has presented workshops on writing for children and young adults throughout Europe and the United States.

The Christophers, a nonprofit founded in 1945 by Maryknoll Father James Keller, is rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition of service of God and humanity. More about The Christophers is available at www.christophers.org.