Growing up around expert and traditional cooks in Tijuana, Mexico, Marcela was raised to be passionate about food. She jumped straight into a culinary life with her first job working at her aunt’s cooking school in Baja, Mexico. She realized she too wanted to pursue this growing love for food full time and enrolled in the Los Angeles Culinary Institute. She then went to the Ritz Escoffier Cooking School in Paris to become trained as a classical French pastry chef.
Marcela returned home to run a catering company and teach children about the culinary arts in Tijuana. All the while, collecting recipes and applying her knowledge and skills of her family’s cooking traditions to map out her dreams. Marcela eventually parlayed her classical training and skills to become a food editor at Bon Appétit magazine.
Marcela quickly realized that the idea of authentic Mexican cooking wasn’t as accessible as it should be. Her family’s cuisine was masked by heavy liquid cheese, overflowing burritos and decided that she was going to show the world that in fact there’s NO yellow cheese in real Mexican cooking and it can be done with major flavors and little fuss.
She then landed her own cooking show - Discovery en Español’s Relatos con Sabor and went on to audition for The Apprentice: Martha Stewart which she was soon chosen for.
In August 2009, Marcela was given the chance to showcase her family recipes when she released her first cookbook titled “FRESH MEXICO: 100 Simple Recipes for True Mexican Flavor” (Clarkson Potter). She appeared on NBC’s Today, The View was featured in Latina, People, People en Espanol, Wall Street Journal and the New York Daily News around its release. The book was very well received reaching the #1 cookbook spot on Amazon more than once. With the book, Marcela became the 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 at the stove.
Soon after her book release, she landed her dream job as host of her own Food Network show, Mexican Made Easy. The show made its debut early in 2010 and films in San Diego where Marcela currently lives. She is currently in her fourth season. She was invited to appear on NBC’s Today Show, The Talk and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon around the latest season.
Marcela released her second cookbook called Mexican Made Easy (Clarkson Potter) on September 27, 2011. The book is a companion to her TV show and serves as an entryway into authentic Mexican cuisine.
On a personal note, she is the mother to a wonderful son Fausto who doubles as her sous chef at just seven years old and by working alongside of her in the kitchen has become a very open minded eater.