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Chef Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins: On Embracing Her Identity

Award-winning chef, Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins, embraces her Latinidad in all its complexity. As the executive chef and partner of the San Diego-based restaurant, El Jardín, she works hard to pay homage to her cultural roots while pushing the boundaries of what makes Mexican cuisine distinct.

In this powerful documentary, filmed in 2018 about the young chef, we are taken behind-the-scenes, into Claudette’s vibrant world. Compelled by the narrative of her experience as a bi-border kid who has reached an elevated understanding of the history of colonialism and Indigenous techniques that have impacted the gastronomy within Mexican cooking, we see the borders for what they are: man-made and useless.

In a world that wants to separate and divide, Claudette is reimagining what her legacy as a chef can do to bring people together through the power of a meal prepared with respect and love. To that, we raise a glass. Salud!


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