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A Match Made in Heaven, MasterChef Claudia Sandoval Visit, July 8 12-2pm

Local MasterChef winner Claudia Sandoval is heading to Diane Powers’ Bazaar del Mundo Shops in Old Town on Friday, July 8, 12-2 p.m., to meet and greet with fans, and sign her first cookbook, Claudia’s Cocina: A Taste of Mexico. Working with neighboring Casa Guadalajara, Sandoval will also treat guests to tastings of her favorite recipes from the new book as they enjoy the sights and sounds of Bazaar del Mundo’s colorful courtyard.

Sandoval is the most recent winner of FOX’s top summer show MasterChef – a nationwide competition to find the best home cook in the country, judged by some of cooking’s biggest stars. The prize? $250,000 – and the opportunity to publish their very own cookbook. Sandoval quickly became a fan favorite during her rigorous season, both as a fierce competitor and as a passionate, accomplished chef who wasn’t afraid to infuse her dishes with personality.

“Having Claudia visit our Shops is a natural fit,” said Bazaar del Mundo owner and operator Diane Powers. “With a vibrant personality (and hair as bright as our Shops!), she is the embodiment of Bazaar del Mundo’s love of Mexican culture and cuisine. We hope the fans – both hers and ours – will join us to celebrate her new book and much-deserved success.”

Sandoval’s cooking is strongly influenced by her family’s Mexican roots, as well as the seafood restaurant her grandparents owned when she was a child. During her time on the sixth season of MasterChef, she demonstrated a bright, versatile range of flavors and always made family the center of her dishes.

Simple by design, Sandoval’s new book offers 65 mouthwatering recipes straight from her kitchen. It showcases a mix of her favorite dishes, as well as some of the on-the-spot creations that propelled her to victory on MasterChef.

“This book is about so much more than recipes,” writes Sandoval in the introduction to Claudia’s Cocina. “It is a telling of my family’s history, and it shares not just a taste of Mexico but also a taste of the journey that I have lived in my life. From the prickly cactus to the sweet desserts, my life, like many of yours, has been riddled with ups and downs and trials and tribulations.”

Copies of Claudia’s Cocina: A Taste of Mexico will be available for purchase at Bazaar del Mundo for $24.95.