Claudette Zepeda is an award-winning, San Diego-based celebrity chef and culinary entrepreneur known for her fearless style and bold approach to regional Mexican cuisine.
A celebrated culinary anthropologist, Zepeda draws upon more than 20 years of experience working in restaurant kitchens, as well as extensive travels around the world and throughout Mexico. Her multi-faceted expertise is showcased in her role as founder of Chispa Hospitality, overseeing its creative vision and leading projects in Australia and Mexico.
VAGA restaurant in San Diego’s North County is where Zepeda writes a love letter to her hometown with a menu that celebrates local flavours and immigrant influences. She was seen on 2022 Netflix’s edition of Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend, winning her challenge, and on Iron Chef Mexico where she successfully won her challenge and tied in the finale. In the fall of 2022 Zepeda showcased her talents by beating Bobby Flay’s Titans and winning the cash prize on television series Bobby’s Triple Threat.
In 2019 Zepeda Founded Viva La Vida, LLC where she helps Mexican women support their families without sacrificing their safety. She is now working to establish a fund dedicated to helping Hispanic women break from generational poverty in the United States.