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Hers For the Baking

Food star Marcela Valladolid has all burners going, balancing a TV career as host of Food Network’s Mexican Made Easy, filming CBS’ The American Baking Competition in Atlanta and, now, as 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 favored way to sip tequila, her favorite spots in town and where to race go-karts!

Chef Marcela Valladolid’s star is rising as she just launched her own tequila line and filmed a new show in Atlanta.

You just started a tequila brand, 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.

Do you ever cook 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.

Yum. So, how long were you in Atlanta?
One month. I was actually in Alpharetta. The show [The American Baking Competition] airs on May 29.

What did you think of our fair city?

Honestly, the production schedule was like something out of a horror movie. Sometimes we felt like we were in the Twilight Zone, but, the two nights out we got, we had amazing dinners.

What were those?

We ended up in a small restaurant in Roswell that had the most amazing Southern food. [I ordered] a massive plate of fried chicken, collard greens and fried green tomatoes. All was huge and delish! The coconut cream pie was also out of this world. I think what I took away from it is: Everything is bigger and has more flavor in the South.

Did your son ever come visit?

He did. He came for a whole week right in the middle of shooting, so the month wouldn’t feel so long for either of us.

Did you two get to do anything fun?

We went to the aquarium, which is so beautiful, and to the Andretti Indoor go-karts! [I went with] my assistant, Vivi; my co-judge, Paul Hollywood; and my son, Fau; and we all geared up with helmets and all got to race. He was floored!