Chef Claudia Sandoval
Local eats

Chef Claudia Sandoval is spotlighting foods from the US-Mexico border in new show

‘Taste of the Border’ showcases on how different cultures shine through in their respective cuisines

Chef Claudia Sandoval kicked off the Cinco de Mayo festivities with a brand new show that takes viewers for the ride as she travels along the US-Mexico border and stops in often-overlooked border towns to highlight the delicious food and vibrant culture created and enjoyed by locals.

Taste of the Border, available now on Discovery+, puts the spotlight on how different cultures shine through in their respective cuisines. The former MasterChef winner, having grown up along the border herself, is uniquely suited to highlight the delicious and surprising foods that delight locals and visitors alike.

Chef Claudia Sandoval©Discovery+ / Taste of the Border / Agencies

During her show, Chef Claudia eats her way through towns along with a food-focused road map. From San Diego, California, to South Padre Island, Texas, Sandoval discovers how the food from each town showcases a blending of flavors and cultures — along with some other unexpected influences.

Chef Claudia Sandoval©Discovery+ / Taste of the Border / Agencies

Sandoval spoke with HOLA! USA about her food discoveries, her favorite moments of the show, and so much more.

Chef Claudia Sandoval©Discovery+ / Taste of the Border / Agencies
Can you please share more about your discovery of new foods in the small towns you visited on the US-Mexico border? Was there a favorite food you discovered?

I made a bunch of discoveries throughout the show - and not just because it is on Discovery+! My mind immediately goes to my newfound favorite tacos at a place called Los Primos taco stand. They make the most incredible tacos! Everyone thinks the best are in Tijuana and I have my favorite taco place near home, but this was a big revelation.

This show was filled with many revelations. I made some incredible finds, including having venison in South Padre Island and some awesome Chile Rellenos. Everything was incredible!

How did the different cultures you experienced shine through in their respective cuisines? Can you please share some examples?

The one big example that comes to mind is the influence of Asian-American influencers as it stands in California - both Baja California and California proper. Whether it was Japanese, Chinese, or Korean — there was so much influence from the Asian community. And it was not fusion. It was a use of ingredients in an unorthodox way that was truly incredible.

I discovered that there are over 200 Chinese-Mexican restaurants all owned by Chinese people who speak perfect Spanish due to the migration years ago. This was a totally unexpected thing for me to find out on my show. And the food IS so good because they include Mexican ingredients. They understand Mexican food super well. I went to this place called Common Theory in San Diego, and they do food that is typically American but infused with Asian influences. It’s so fascinating - and delicious!

What is a go-to recipe of yours for Cinco de Mayo?

Definitely tacos! Tacos are so easy, and you can make them out of everything. Latinos and Mexicans don’t just have tacos on Tuesdays! I have them for breakfast with eggs or have them with chicken, seared fish, and pico slaw. If you don’t want a protein, you can have a taco with roasted cauliflower or grilled pineapple. There are so many ways to go, depending on what you’re feeling. I will definitely be having tacos and margaritas tonight to celebrate!

What are some of your favorite moments from the show? Is there a behind-the-scenes story from filming ‘TASTE OF THE BORDER’ that you have not yet shared that you would like to?

Where do I begin! There are so many stories! Well, we were stuck on a tarmac in Texas for about 9 hours, which was fun. You can cross the border quickly with SENTRI, which is like a Fast Pass. But none of the crew had it - so we had to wait 2-3 hours (when it usually takes me 15 minutes) to cross the border, which was fun.

There is an episode of the show where I’m grilling with my friend in 117-degree weather. If you really pay attention to that episode, you will see that my shoulders are red. We had to film with our tops down in our Jeeps because it was so hot. I was in full hair and makeup but was melting. And I’m feeling the heat from the grill too! We bought beer to drink, but we were not drinking beer - we were chugging bottles of water. When I went back to my hotel, I realized that I sweat so much that my pants were completely wet. I could ring the; that’s how wet it was. When we left at around 8 pm, the temperature only went down 10 degrees to 107!

Enjoy the video interview below

Loading the player...