Maya Padilla: Taco Maya | Local News | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Coverage for Central Oregon, by Central Oregonians.
100% Local. No Paywalls.

Every day, the Source publishes a mix of locally reported stories on our website, keeping you up to date on developments in news, food, music and the arts. We’re committed to covering this city where we live, this city that we love, and we hear regularly from readers who appreciate our ability to put breaking news in context.

The Source has been a free publication for its 22 years. It has been free as a print version and continued that way when we began to publish online, on social media and through our newsletters.

But, as most of our readers know, times are different for local journalism. Tech giants are hoovering up small businesses and small-business advertising—which has been the staple for locally owned media. Without these resources, journalism struggles to bring coverage of community news, arts and entertainment that social media cannot deliver.

Please consider becoming a supporter of locally owned journalism through our Source Insider program. Learn more about our program’s benefits by clicking through today.

Support Us Here

News » Local News

Maya Padilla: Taco Maya

A diplomat's daughter, foreign correspondent and mermaid morphs into a chef

by

comment
LYNNE LEWIS
  • Lynne Lewis

She's the daughter of Guatemala's one-time ambassador to the U.S., a former freelance correspondent for National Public Radio and CNN covering Guatemala in the '90s, and a radio personality in Mexico. Today Maya Padilla and her teenage son/sous chef Dante prepare mouth-watering dishes at Taco Maya, launched last summer in Sunriver's food court. Though she'll travel Oregon in warmer months, in winter Padilla becomes a snowbird, cheffing on charter vessels in the Caribbean.

Padilla's culinary journey began as a kid, inspired by her dad's cooking skills. Later, traveling in Mexico, she learned the art of making the taco. Padilla jumped at the chance to fill in for a dive boat cook. Afterward, she began cheffing on private charters in the Bahamas, swimming with the dolphins in her free time. Besides loving to cook for people, she says she has a "mermaid spirit" and loves the ocean.

Whether it's produce on Rome's streets or the Mayan farmers in Guatemala's markets, the colors and scents, the people and the liveliness, the herbs and fresh produce are Padilla's muses. Happily and serendipitously, she landed in Bend, where, along with locally grown products, she loves the air, the water, the lakes and the sense of freedom...and has called the community home for nearly 20 years. Among Padilla's many anecdotes is provisioning for some British Virgin Islands charters. For hair-raising weeks she drove shopped for breakfast, lunch and dinner for 10 guests and crew...reportedly a tough assignment. So was storing food and cooking in a tiny galley without windows! But the ocean's beauty and passengers' pleasure were, she says, "all worth the hard work." Another joy is when her son and chief taster responds enthusiastically to her carnitas and carne asada, or lime, jalapeno, and cilantro sauce, or fish tacos with purple slaw and pineapple. Padilla dreams of perhaps returning to NPR one day, hosting a show about food and travel.

Taco Maya (catering and private events)
General Duffy's Food Carts, Redmond (opening soon)
541-280-9007

About The Author

Add a comment

More by Lynn Lewis