San Diego chef Claudia Sandoval embarks on multicultural food journey in new show
The chef has embarked on a food journey across four states for her new show, ‘Taste of the Border’
When Claudia Sandoval was asked four years ago to conceptualize her “dream project,” she thought of her hometown of San Diego and its neighboring country, Mexico, and consequently, the cross-over between the two different cultures.
When she began traveling to the East Coast, people were shocked to learn that going to Tijuana on an average Thursday night for tacos was … normal.
“Normal,” that is, for Sandoval and other border-region residents.
Making stops in unique, Latin-inspired eateries in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, Sandoval explores the flavors, cultures and people behind border towns on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border that are often overlooked.
“We have such an incredible, vibrant, thriving community with incredible people, incredible stories, but on top of that, amazing food,” Sandoval said. “That’s what I really wanted to focus on.”
She says she hopes her show, which premiered on Discovery+ on Cinco de Mayo, steers away from the negative connotations surrounding Mexico.
“I think what I hope to achieve is to … demystify the idea of what a border town is,” Sandoval said. “It really is so rich. It’s so centrally diverse: the heritage, the food. It’s just like a co-mingling of amazing flavors.”
Starting in San Ysidro and ending her food tour in South Padre Island, Texas, Sandoval is seen indulging in a rainbow of multicultural dishes. On the menu: suckling pig mole, fresh spider crab and adobada tacos from the Sonoran Desert, which she claims to be some of the “best tacos” she’s had in her life.
The four-episode series comes seven years after Sandoval was named winner of Fox’s “MasterChef” in 2015 after impressing Gordon Ramsay and the other judges with her Mexican-style cuisine. The tables have turned, literally, for the best-selling cookbook author who is now a judge on Estrella TV’s “MasterChef Latinos.”
The show has been renewed for a second season, meaning Sandoval and her fellow judges, chefs Adrian Herrera and Benito Molina will be looking for talented contestants in the near future.
“I would really love to see people from all backgrounds,” Sandoval said. “I would love to see people from everywhere showing off their cultures and how incredibly rich they are. Kind of like ‘Taste of the Border’ because food unites, right?”
Sandoval lives in San Diego with her daughter. More about her food endeavors here: chefclaudiasandoval.com
Becerril is a freelance writer.
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