Show 42, October 5, 2013: Carlos Salgago, Executive Chef and Proprietor of Taco Maria

Carlos Salgado of Taco MariaTaco Maria, newly opened at SoCo, represents a wonderful success story for the Salgado Family.

Carlos is a trained pastry chef with extensive experience in fine-dining establishments in the Bay Area. Carlos returned to Orange County and with his sister, Silvia, launched a gourmet food truck, Taco Maria, in 2011.

In it’s first year Taco Maria was awarded the distinction of being named one of OC’s best new restaurants by both The Orange County Register and OC Weekly.

Taco Maria earned great acclaim as the featured gourmet food truck at the Saturday morning Farmers Market at SoCo. The lines were long (everything was created fresh to order) and the devoted following huge!

Last year Carlos sold the food truck to create a real destination restaurant at SoCo. Taco Maria opened in September for dinner only and just recently added lunch. Weekend brunch is planned for the near future. A beautiful patio overlooks the garden courtyard adjacent to The OC Mart Mix.

It’s an open kitchen so you can see the craft and care which goes into the preparation of each dish. Even the tortillas are hand-made and prepared throughout the day.


Show 13, January 12, 2013: Josef Centeno, owner/executive chef of baco mercat and Bar Ama in Downtown Los Angeles.

Josef Centeno

Josef Centeno is a classic example of the independent young breed of pioneering chef who wants to do his own thing with total control and then makes it happen!

He now has two busy restaurants in the Old Bank District of Downtown Los Angeles making him something of an urban pioneer, too, because he also lives there.

His latest is Bar Ama which is his tribute to the maternal side of his Family and their San Antonio-style of Tex-Mex cooking. All tortillas and salsas are made in-house and are fresh daily.

He’s particularly proud of the Puffy Tacos and his Wood Grill. This is one of the few spots locally where you can get young goat properly prepared.