TBT RePost - Learn To Make Traditional Mexican Carnitas From Former El Jardin Chef Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins

August 15, 2019

Former Top Chef contestant Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins may no longer be cooking at the currently-shuttered El Jardin in Liberty Station, but you can still learn to make traditional Michoacan-style carnitas with her nifty video. Check it out and make the dish for yourself at home!

Raised on both sides of the border in San Diego and Tijuana, Chef Claudette Zepeda-Wilkins started her career as a pastry chef with stints at Sea180 in Imperial Beach and Jsix in East Village. She went on to be hired by acclaimed chef Javier Plascencia as the opening chef de cuisine of the now-defunct Bracero Cocina de Raiz in Little Italy in 2015. In 2017, Claudette competed in the second season of Top Chef Mexico, followed directly by appearing as a contestant on Season 15 of Bravo’s Top Chef, where she earned a less than savory reputation with her other cheftestants. In June 2018, Chef Claudette opened Rise & Shine Breakfast Group's El Jardin modern Mexican restaurant in Liberty Station. Despite a public relations-fueled hype campaign that included a glowing New York Time's review, a James Beard nod, and Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand recognition, El Jardin suddenly shuttered at the end of July after only a little more than a year in business. Chef Claudette is currently traveling and Rise & Shine is converting El Jardin to a more casual Mexican restaurant.

Check out the Buzzfeed Tasty recipe and below video to learn how to make Chef Claudette's Mexican Carnitas. Be sure to have an excessive amount of lard on hand.