Claudette Zepeda

Celebrity Chef and Entrepreneur Claudette Zepeda is an award-winning culinary figure based in San Diego. With over 20 years of experience and a fearless approach to regional Mexican cuisine, she is also a culinary anthropologist. Zepeda's extensive travels worldwide and throughout Mexico contribute to her profound knowledge of indigenous ingredients and cross-cultural culinary expressions. As the Founder/Creative Director of Chispa Hospitality, she leads creative projects in Nashville, Australia, and México. Formerly, she gained national acclaim as the executive chef & partner of the now-closed El Jardín, a regional Mexican restaurant in San Diego. El Jardín received praise from the New York Times, featured on Esquire's Best New Restaurants list, and earned recognition from Michelin's Bib Gourmand list in 2019. Zepeda has been honored as Chef of the Year by Eater San Diego and San Diego Union Tribune in 2018, and was a James Beard Best Chef West semifinalist in 2019.