In our family, María is the proper first name of every mother, sister, tía, and abuelita going back generations. Ours are the flavors of their lost kitchens: traditions transplanted into Southern California's multicultural soils, alongside local produce and regional meats and seafood, by a Michelin-starred chef raised here in Orange County. 

We call it "Chicano Cuisine," a mezcla of Mexican and American cultures, a conversation between our generation and the generations of humble cooks and farmers who nurtured the traditions of our home table.

Carlos at pass

Chef Carlos Salgado

Prior to returning home to Orange County, Chef Carlos Salgado spent a decade in San Francisco and Oakland, learning in many of the Bay Area's best kitchens. From Vernon Morales' cutting-edge Winterland, to Daniel Patterson's ambitious Coi, and James Syhabout's intimate Commis, Carlos worked his way through some of the most thoughtful and innovative restaurants in Northern California before opening Taco María. He was named a Food & Wine Best New Chef in 2015, and is a 2016 James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef: West.