HCC students join Chef Hugo Ortega in filming 'Tastemade' television segment

Sep 18, 2023

From left to right: Makayla Mosley, Zauren Hall and Nicamrean King

Houston Community College (HCC) students had the opportunity to work alongside renowned chef and HCC alumni, Hugo Ortega, this summer to film a segment for a cable television program.

The segment will premiere on Tastemade, a popular food and travel network, before being distributed to over 114 million homes globally on Amazon, Hulu, Roku, Pluto, Direct TV and other outlets.

As one of the most famous graduates of HCC's Culinary Arts program, Chef Ortega's story and rise to fame continue to inspire. He came to America as the oldest of eight children after he learned the fundamentals of Mexican cooking and building flavors in Oaxaca, Mexico, from his grandmother.

After starting out as a dishwasher at Backstreet Café, Chef Ortega enrolled and graduated from HCC's Culinary Arts program in 1992. He went on to own and operate four successful Houston restaurants, all with top reviews. In 2017, Chef Ortega won the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Southwest, the equivalent of winning an Oscar for culinary excellence.

The segment was filmed in the HCC Central Culinary Arts Building, which opened in 2019, is an $11 million, two-story, 38,000-square-foot facility that houses the college's highly successful culinary arts and baking and pastry arts programs.

The Ortega Lobby features a striking, wood-grained wall bearing Chef Hugo Ortega's name in copper letters.

The students featured in the segment were Makayla Mosley, Zauren Hall and Nicamrean King.

Chef Ortega and his wife have long credited HCC with providing him with the additional skills needed to fulfill his culinary vision and empire. The segment featuring HCC students and Chef Ortega highlights the success of HCC's Culinary Arts program and the impact it has on its students.

For more information on HCC's Culinary Arts program, visit hccs.edu/culinary-arts.

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