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Smooth Operator

S.D. star Marcela Valladolid has all burners going, balancing a TV career as host of Food Network’s Mexican Made Easy and now co-owner of Hacienda de La Flor, a tequila label she just purchased with her husband. Here, the Paris-trained chef and mom shares her favorite way to sip tequila, boutiques she loves and tips for dining in TJ.

TV chef Marcela Valladolid’s star is rising as she just launched her own tequila line.

How do you take your tequila? Blanco or repo straight, slightly chilled with an orange wedge and served in a 5-ounce. brandy snifter—the way my dad has always done it.

Recipes for cooking with tequila? I brush peaches with a reduction of honey, cinnamon, clove and tequila, then grill and serve with really good vanilla bean ice cream. It’s so simple, but absurdly good.

Spring break plans? Cancun for the Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Fest! I’m looking forward to running into Massimo Bottura at the hotel pool!

Star style hubs? Lissilaa boutique in La Jolla and Le Bel Age in Mission Hills.

Haute home stops? Little Italy’s Casa Artelexia stocks the best high-end Mexican home décor.

Where do you dine when you’re back in Tijuana visiting family? The list is endless! Mack by Chan’s, where chef Nancy Leon is putting out some serious Asian fusion; La Caza Club is breaking tradition and serving small plates of local game; Misión 19, because Anthony Bourdain said so; La Querencia Baja Med by BajaMed cuisine pioneer Miguel Ángel Guerrero; and El Rodeo, my all-time favorite.

What’s new in your neighborhood of Chula Vista? El Vitral recently opened at Otay Ranch and I’m dying to try their tortas.