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Watch: The Living Legend Who Bakes 800 Empanadas at a Time

"Open Road" heads to Valle De Guadalupe to sample popular Mexican lamb dishes

On this episode of Open Road, Bricia and Fernando Lopez — the brother and sister team from the family behind Los Angeles’ Restaurante Guelaguetza — head to Valle De Guadalupe to stop by La Cocina de Doña Esthela. In a town that’s quickly filling up with destination vineyards and new restaurants, Doña Esthela’s cooking stands out for its simplicity.

Doña Esthela is a living legend in her town; a certified badass entrepreneur who doesn’t call herself a chef, knows how to build her own oven, and can bake 800 empanadas at a time without burning her eyelashes. The food she serves at her eponymous restaurant is simple, rich, and steeped in tradition. The Lopez siblings sampled machaca, a pounded lamb meat dish that’s a popular breakfast in Mexico, borrego tatemado, a roasted lamb rib, and borrego en su jugo, a lamb dish served in its own juicy gravy.

Check out the video above to learn about Doña Esthela’s cooking philosophy — and hear firsthand how her food really tastes.

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