Going cross country for culinary


By Midori Allen / Associate editor

Three local chefs will embark on a cross-country journey to bring authentic European cuisine to the Coastal Bend starting May 29.

Megan Riojas, a 20-year-old Del Mar student, organized and founded Culinary Crossings and the team to help her on the journey.

“We want to visit and learn from locals,” Riojas said. “And the only way to do that is to just go.”

Riojas’ team consists of Jeremy Battles, who has an associate degree in culinary and baking from Del Mar, and Thomas Salazar, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in marketing from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

“Jeremy goes into the science and presentation of food,” Riojas said. “I am always impressed with his work for the Republic of Texas.”

Salazar focuses on the alcohol side.

“Food and alcohol go hand in hand,” Riojas said. “You have to have the right wine to go with the right dish.”

The three-month adventure will take the team to 28 countries around Europe to learn from locals to help provide authenticity to their cookbook. After their journey the team will create a cookbook, documentary and TV show to share their experiences. The TV show will start in September 2015 on PBS with a new episode every week. During their trip the team will be updating the website with three-minute videos every week. The team will start touring in May 2015 for six months to discuss the cookbook and experiences. The projected release date of the cookbook is November 2014.

Help from investors, donations through Kickstarter.com and the team’s motive are what keep Megan Riojas’ dream alive.

“Our world revolves around food. Food brings people together. We want to further our knowledge of food by exploring the world through cooking and sharing what we learn with others,” Riojas said.

To follow Culinary Crossing’s journey visit culinarycrossings.com or facebook.com/culinarycrossings.


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