How can you honor Hispanic Heritage Month without indulging in a few of Latin America’s tastiest treats? Chef Marcela Valladolid is certainly a great person to "dish" with if you’re curious about the inner workings of a Mexican kitchen. Her hit Food Network show, Mexican Made Easy, attracts millions of weekly viewers and has exposed a huge American audience to the beauty of a spiced-up cuisine.
Though it’s hard to believe from her youthful appearance, Marcela actually has quite a few years of culinary experience behind her. At the age of 19, she headed to cooking school in France and eventually began working as an editor for Bon Appetit magazine. Then after a few "lucky breaks" and A LOT of determination, Valladolid wound up auditioning for The Food Network with a wild concept – a Latina-centric cooking show.
"For the network that I’m on, a lot of the audience isn’t Hispanic," Marcela said. "So we’re not just catering to Latinos, we’re catering a huge new audience and stirring interest in our culture. I’m very proud of every single episode and every single recipe."
Indeed, Mexican Made Easy is all about sharing practical Latin recipes with a broad American audience. Typical episodes focus on dishes like "No-Brainer Eggs Benedicto," "Game-Winning Guacamole," and the delicious "Choco-Flan."
Valladolid is also a best-selling author and has published two well-received cookbooks on yummy Mexican platos. Part of what makes her angle so unique, is Marcela’s ability to share experiences from both sides of the border. Growing up in Tijuana and San Diego, she was exposed to a tremendous variety of delicious foods. "I love my classic American dishes," Valladolid confessed. "Whenever anyone asks me what my favorite food on the planet is, I say a well-done cheeseburger!"
Marcela also makes a point to emphasize the importance of family, both on her show and in her personal life. Sure she’s an influential Latina chef to the world, but at home she’s just plain old mom. "I love that my son is exposed to a hard-working, empowered Latina woman," she said. "When you sit down and you watch my show, you can see what it’s like for me; living, cooking, and having a normal life. You’ll see the traditional recipes that my mom used to cook when I was a kid."
And let’s not forget that Valladolid is quite the entrepreneur too. Outside of her own television show, she’s the proud owner of a tequila line, a private culinary teacher, and the head of a private catering company. But for Marcela, the biggest joy doesn’t come from a great business deal or a talk show appearance. Her satisfaction can be found in a simple email (which she gets dozens of on a daily basis).
"My biggest reward," she went on to say, "is when I get an email from someone who says, 'I was always afraid of trying Mexican food and now because of you, I’m going to try it'."
Have you ever watched Chef Marcela’s cooking show? Sound off in the comments or @MTV3.
Copyright : Tr3s