Until the contest on January 31st, find here the portraits of the eight candidates running for the 55th edition of the ‘Taittinger’. Today meet Claudette Zepeda, representing the United-States. 

This year sees us welcome a candidate from the United States for the very first time. Thanks to Emmanuel Renaut, we had the pleasure of meeting Dominique Crenn, who accepted the role of President of “Le Taittinger” and selected Claudette Zepeda from among the American candidates.

Born in San Diego but of Mexican origin, Claudette grew up in a family that owned several restaurants between Guadalajara and Tijuana. Her destiny was all mapped out before her – she likes to think that the job chose her. She has made a name for herself through her proficiency with fire as a “Live fire chef ” (cooking with fire, over embers), now her speciality. She has demonstrated this proficiency in a whole host of competitions, including on television. A single mother-of-two, she has also experienced her fair share of setbacks in life, leading her to create a foundation that helps young Mexican women set up their own businesses.

Today she runs “Vaga”, her own restaurant in San Diego, and new sites in Sydney and Mexico are in the pipeline to further showcase her talent. Multi-award winning and recognised by the press for her cuisine, it is Claudette’s humility and quiet strength that really shine through. She draws her inspiration from music and Mexico’s National Museum of Anthropology. Her muse is Frida Kahlo, the famous Mexican painter, and her arm bears a tattoo of her face. She has also adopted Kahlo’s motto,“Viva laVida”.

instagram @claudetteazepeda

Photo : Gildas Boclé