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Marcela Valladolid

The Womens Conference

How She Empowers Others

It’s easy to lose sight of what traditional Mexican cuisine is when we’re surrounded by inauthentic dishes such as overflowing burritos and nachos drowning in liquid cheddar cheese. Chef Marcela Valladolid is here to show us that anyone can capture authentic Mexican flavors without the fuss.  As Marcela always says, "there is no yellow cheese in real Mexican cooking."

Born in San Diego and raised in Tijuana, Mexico, Marcela jumped straight into a culinary life at an early age.  Her grandfather was a chef in Mexico and her aunt opened one of the first cooking schools in Baja, Mexico where Marcela got her first job.  She went on to study at the Los Angeles Culinary Institute and graduated as a classical French pastry chef from the Ritz Escoffier Cooking School in Paris.

Marcela’s passion for food and her classical training landed her a job at Bon Appetit magazine where she served as the magazines food editor.  She was later cast on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart where she came in fourth.

In August of 2009, Marcela's first cookbook, FRESH MEXICO: 100 Simple Recipes for True Mexican Flavor, was released by Clarkson Potter.  In the book, Marcela shatters the misconceptions about her native cuisine — she is a dynamic advocate for great Mexican food that delivers in freshness and flavor without forcing home cooks to track down hard-to-find ingredients or spend hours chained to the stove.

Between taping episodes of her Food Network cooking show, Mexican Made Easy, which premiered on January 23, 2010 and Realtos con Sabor, which appears on Discovery en Espanol in the U.S. and Latin America, Marcela raises the love of her life -- her four year-old son Fausto.