Food pros teach you the secret to great tacos on culinary cruise to Mexico

Carlos Salgado, chef-owner of Taco Maria in Costa Mesa, is one of the pros who will be aboard Princess Cruises’ culinary cruise.
(Princess Cruises)

Spice up your life this spring on a West Coast culinary cruise with Princess Cruises that will feature Bill Esparza, James Beard award winner and food journalist.

The four-day voyage, which will depart Los Angeles on March 22, will also include chefs Sabina Bandera and Carlos Salgado, recently nominated for best chef in the West with the James Beard Foundation Awards.

Esparaza and the chefs will work with the Princess culinary team to produce chef-led cooking demonstrations, tequila tastings and cocktail-making tutorials, custom shore excursions and Q&A sessions.

The Ruby Princess cruise will visit Santa Barbara and Ensenada, Mexico, before returning to Los Angeles. Passengers will have an opportunity to taste special menus throughout the ship’s restaurants and bars, and learn new cuisine skills from the guest chefs.


Esparza is a recent winner of a James Beard award for his coverage of the L.A. taco scene in Los Angeles magazine and is considered an expert on Mexican food. Esparza has traveled and tasted cuisine throughout Mexico, Latin America and Southern California.

Salgado is the chef-owner of Taco Maria in Costa Mesa, one of Orange County’s most critically acclaimed restaurants. He was named best new chef by Food & Wine in 2015.

In Ensenada, Mexico, Bandera is known as the Queen of the Cart, La Guerrerense. Her food cart and tostadas de mariscos (seafood tacos) have been praised by food guru Anthony Bourdain, among others.

Cruise prices start at $509 per person, double occupancy, for an inside room; ocean-view rooms start at $604 per person, double occupancy. Balcony rooms and suites are sold out.

Info: Princess Cruises, (800) 774-6237, or contact a travel agent.

To read this article in Spanish, click here