Marcela Valladolid Biography

(American Chef and Author Known for Her TV Shows: ‘Mexican Made Easy’ and ‘Best Baker in America’)

Birthday: July 19, 1978 (Cancer)

Born In: San Diego, California, United States

Marcela Valladolid is a Mexican–American celebrity chef, cookbook author, culinary show host, reality TV star, and food blogger. She was born in San Diego, but her ancestral home was in Tijuana, Mexico. Marcela spent most of childhood learning cooking at her aunt’s culinary school in Mexico. Marcela later obtained culinary degrees from the Los Angeles Culinary Institute and the Ritz-Escoffier Cooking School in Paris. She then went back to Mexico and started a cooking school of her own. After participating in some cooking contests, she got her own cooking show, Relatos con Sabor (Spanish). However, she became a household name in the U.S. with her second show, Mexican Made Easy, on Food Network. Over the years, she has written many cookbooks, such as Fresh Mexico: 100 Simple Recipes for True Mexican Flavor and Casa Marcela: Recipes and Food Stories of My Life in the Californias. She has also been part of numerous culinary shows, such as The Kitchen, Best Baker in America, and The American Baking Competition. She has been married and divorced once and now lives in California, with her partner and her three children.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Marcela Luz Valladolid-Rodriguez

Age: 46 Years, 46 Year Old Females


Spouse/Ex-: Fausto Gallard

father: Antonio Valladolid

mother: Maria Rodriguez Valladolid

siblings: Antonio Valladolid

children: Anna Carina Button-Valladolid, Fausto Gallardo

Born Country: United States

Chefs Cookbook Writers

Height: 5'1" (155 cm), 5'1" Females

Ancestry: Mexican American

Notable Alumni: Ritz Escoffier Cooking School, Los Angeles Culinary Institute

U.S. State: California

City: San Diego, California

More Facts

education: Ritz Escoffier Cooking School, Los Angeles Culinary Institute

  • 1

    What are some popular recipes by Marcela Valladolid?

    Some popular recipes by Marcela Valladolid include Mexican Wedding Cookies, Tres Leches Cake, Chicken Tinga Tacos, and Churros.

  • 2

    Can you recommend any of Marcela Valladolid's cookbooks?

    Yes, Marcela Valladolid has authored cookbooks such as "Fresh Mexico: 100 Simple Recipes for True Mexican Flavor" and "Mexican Made Easy: Everyday Ingredients, Extraordinary Flavor".

  • 3

    What is Marcela Valladolid's cooking style known for?

    Marcela Valladolid's cooking style is known for blending traditional Mexican flavors with modern techniques, making her recipes accessible and flavorful.

  • 4

    Does Marcela Valladolid have any cooking shows or TV appearances?

    Yes, Marcela Valladolid has appeared on various cooking shows such as "The Kitchen" on Food Network and hosted her own show "Mexican Made Easy".

  • 5

    Where can I find more recipes and cooking tips from Marcela Valladolid?

    You can find more recipes and cooking tips from Marcela Valladolid on her official website, social media platforms, and through her cookbooks and television appearances.

Childhood & Early Life

Marcela Valladolid was born Marcela Luz Valladolid-Rodriguez, on July 19, 1978, in San Diego, California, U.S., to Maria Rodriguez Valladolid and Antonio Valladolid.

Her father was a successful entrepreneur from Tijuana, Baja California. Marcela follows the Latin naming tradition and uses a combination of her father's last name, “Valladolid,” and her mother's maiden name, “Rodriguez.”

Marcela grew up with an older brother, Antonio, and an older sister, Karina. She showed her interest in becoming a chef quite early in her life, when she started working at the cooking school of her aunt in Tijuana, Mexico. Marcela spent most of her childhood there.

At 19, Marcela moved to California. She later graduated as a “certified cook” from the Los Angeles Culinary Institute. She then graduated from the Ritz-Escoffier Cooking School in Paris, France, as a classical pastry chef.

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After becoming a certified French pastry chef, Marcela Valladolid went back to Tijuana and established her own catering company. She also taught cooking to batches of 40 students at her home.

She also worked as an editor and recipe stylist of the magazine named Bon Appétit. In 2004, she appeared as a contestant on the show That's Too Much and won a car. She was also a competitor in the 2005 series The Apprentice: Martha Stewart and secured the fourth place.

Marcela’s first cooking show, Relatos con Sabor, was aired on Discovery en Español. It was later aired in the U.S. and Latin America. The show focused on traditional cuisines made in Hispanic homes.

However, she began gaining real fame in the U.S. in January 2010, when she started hosting the Food Network culinary show Mexican Made Easy, her second cooking show. The show was aired till 2013 and was filmed at her family home in San Diego.

By then, she was already a celebrity chef in Mexico and had written her first cookbook, Fresh Mexico: 100 Simple Recipes for True Mexican Flavor, which was published by Clarkson Potter in August 2009.

In September 2011, Marcela’s second cookbook, Mexican Made Easy, hit the stands. It was a companion book to the show of the same name and was published by Clarkson Potter.

In 2012, she appeared as a contestant in a celebrity edition of the cooking contest Chopped. She finished in the second place (out of the four contestants). The same year, she appeared as a contestant in a New Year's special episode of Iron Chef America.

The following year, Marcela Valladolid appeared as a judge on the show Guy's Grocery Games. Over the years, Marcela has appeared as a co-host, a judge, or a competitor on several Food Network shows, such as The Kitchen (2014–2017) and Throwdown! with Bobby Flay (where she was appeared as a judge for a fish taco-themed contest). She also co-judged the CBS cooking reality show The American Baking Competition.

On November 27, 2013, Marcela appeared as a guest model on the Thanksgiving special episode of the show The Price Is Right.

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In 2017, she came up with another book, Casa Marcela: Recipes and Food Stories of My Life in the Californias, which was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Her fourth cookbook, Fiestas: Tidbits, Margaritas and More, featuring 75 cocktails and appetizers, was released by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2019. All the food photos in the book had been photographed at her house.

Marcela was a judge and a host on the show Best Baker in America in 2017, 2018 and 2019. She was seen on the food chat show The Dish on Oz on CW. She also manages the food and lifestyle blog titled Delaluz by Marcela. Her personal website,, is a storehouse of countless Mexican recipes.

Personal Life

Marcela Valladolid now stays with her fiancé, talent agent Philip Button, and her three children, in an ancient Chula Vista (California) mansion that dates back to 1912.

She has two children with Philip, a son named David (born on April 9, 2015) and a daughter named Anna Carina (born on December 5, 2016). She has another son, Fausto, from her previous marriage. The family owns a springer spaniel/retriever mix named Kongo.

Marcela Valladolid had first met Philip at a nightclub in Los Angeles, when she had just moved to the city to attend the Los Angeles Culinary Institute. Back then, Philip worked at the William Morris Agency.

Marcela and Philip dated while she obtained a culinary degree in Paris and worked for Bon Appétit magazine. However, they lost touch when Marcela went back to Tijuana to start her own catering company and culinary school.

Marcela then married Fausto Gallard, a Mexican environment political activist. The couple had a son, Fausto, on April 27, 2004. However, they divorced in around 2008-2009.

Marcela and Fausto were quite close to getting back together in 2012, before she went to work on The American Baking Competition in the U.S. In fact, some tabloids even reported that the couple had remarried in 2012 (and then divorced again in 2013).

By then, Marcela Valladolid was also back in touch with Philip, her old friend. They had reportedly reunited when they had both gotten divorced from their respective partners. This time around, Philip turned into a good friend and advisor.

By the time she went back from the U.S. to Tijuana in 2013, Marcela had begun an affair with Paul Hollywood, her The American Baking Competition co-host. The affair fizzled out soon after.

Later, Marcela and Philip realized they were falling for each other again and thus made their relationship official.

In April 2020, Marcela celebrated the fifth birthday of her son David, with an Egypt-themed party and thanked Philip and his family for their efforts.

Facts About Marcela Valladolid

Marcela Valladolid is not only a talented chef but also a skilled flamenco dancer, showcasing her diverse talents beyond the kitchen.

She has a passion for vintage fashion and often incorporates retro styles into her wardrobe, adding a unique flair to her personal style.

Marcela is a dedicated advocate for healthy eating and often shares tips for balancing indulgent dishes with nutritious options in her recipes.

In addition to her culinary expertise, Marcela is fluent in both English and Spanish, allowing her to connect with a wider audience through her cooking shows and books.

Marcela Valladolid's love for travel and exploration inspires her cooking, as she draws inspiration from different cultures and flavors to create innovative dishes.

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