Chef Brandon Jew | Antonio Diaz MKs3

Preview Ep. 3, Mercado: Artisanal Street Food & L.A.'s Best Mole

On a bustling street corner in Downtown L.A., the tantalizing smell of freshly deep-fried chicharrón wafting in the air comes from a street vendor who is a true master at the craft. Over at Grand Central Market, the family behind a long-standing shop has been dutifully providing Hispanic goods, such as mole pastes and dried chiles, to the community for the last few decades.

At a time when an influx of immigrants fled from their countries for better labor opportunities in the United States, Celestino Lopez opened Chiles Secos, a stand in Grand Central Market that offers the Mexican community a familial sense of home. On the other end of the spectrum, Enrique Peralta's experiences reveal the life of the street vendor, whose crispy pork rinds are among the best in the city. Each with their own unique traits, Celestino's and Enrique's immigrant stories also share common elements, entrepreneurial spirit, perseverance and the ongoing struggle to make it in the land of opportunity.

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