Pati Jinich searches for culinary stories.
The chef returns with the second season of “La Frontera with Pati Jinich” at 8 p.m. Monday, April 3, on New Mexico PBS, channel 5.1
The series highlights the fascinating, yet misunderstood, U.S.-Mexico border region, where countries and cultures come together.
Jinich meets with artists, musicians and local legends, whose work reflects the blending of cultures, as well as the chefs and home cooks who bring all these people together.
She starts her trip in San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico.
“The areas are so gorgeous and stunning, it was unexpected,” she says. “It’s so laid back and contrasting at the same time. There’s such diversity and richness in the areas we explore in season two.”
In the third episode, airing April 17, she makes her way to New Mexico.
First, Jinich meets with famed architect Ronald Rael who is rethinking spaces for migrants.
She then hikes with the Sky Island Alliance across the border. Their mission is to protect and restore the diversity of life and lands in the Sky Island region of both the U.S. and Mexico, while actively tracking the wildlife migratory species whose life is now disrupted due to the border wall.
Jinich also travels to Hatch to understand how a city in the U.S. could call itself the “Chile Capital of the World.”
There, she meets with Andrea Miller who comes from a long line of farmers and has made it her mission to ensure Hatch chile farming remains part of the community.
Finally, Jinich goes to a Mennonite community near the border where she gets to experience the making of the famous Mennonite cheese and also understand how this highly isolated community works.
“I wanted to stay in New Mexico and try some more food,” Jinich says. “Hatch and Las Cruces all feel so far removed from the rest of the country. What I found fascinating is the amazing community that these areas have built. These are border communities and they rely on each other to make it happen. That’s that this show is about. It’s highlighting how these communities are thriving.”
Jinich and her crew filmed in November, just before Thanksgiving.
“We were in Hatch way after their chile harvest,” she says. “I’m going to have to revisit the area when harvest is going on. I know that it’s the chile capital of the world because of the passion behind it. The area is different and full of survivors. It’s important that these stories keep being told.”