Bill Esparza is the winner of a James Beard award for his coverage of the L.A. taco scene in Los Angeles Magazine, and is one of the country’s leading experts on Mexican food. The California native was the host and curator of L.A.’s Taco-landia festival for five years; writes often about Mexican food; and appears regularly on CNN, KCRW’s radio show “Good Food,” and such television shows as “I’ll Have What Phil’s Having,” “Bizarre Foods,” and “Top Chef.” A noted saxophone player, Esparza has traveled and eaten extensively throughout Mexico, Latin America, and, of course, Southern California.

Elisa Callow is the founding executive director of the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, a nationally recognized center for arts education and community development, and a consultant in the nonprofit sector. A self-taught cook, she spent her formative years in Southeast Asia—her first foray into the world’s culinary marketplaces. Elisa’s appreciation for food and culture is evidenced through her adventurous blog, The Urban Forager.

Val Zavala anchored KCET’s “SoCal Connected” from its debut in 2008 until her retirement in 2018.  She had been at KCET since 1987, serving as anchor, reporter and executive producer for the long-running “Life & Times” as well as other news programs and specials. Over her career at KCET she won 14 L.A.- area Emmys and eight Golden Mikes.