UTSA's unique interactive webinar series exploring the ways San Antonio eats.

Grab your lunch and drop in for these lively lunchtime conversations!


Tacos, Texas and Tradition

August 20, 2020 | Noon - 1 pm

From puffy to breakfast to street, San Antonio loves its tacos! This entertaining panel will explore what makes a taco a taco, and how this favorite cuisine of South Texas has evolved over time.



John Phillip Santos, Moderator

Distinguished Scholar in Mestizo Studies, UTSA Honors College   

Author of the acclaimed Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation, Santos completed another of his books, The Farthest Home Is in an Empire of Fire, in 2009 on the university campus. UTSA Libraries also hosted Santos as a featured speaker at the opening of the new Special Collections Suite, which houses his papers, as well as, those of other San Antonio writers. Santos’ plan in San Antonio—and at UTSA—is to create an international forum for exploring mestizo cultural identity, or mestizaje. His passion for food was captured in his quote: “I will drive really far for good BBQ or a Mexican combination plate.”


Gustavo Arellano

Author, Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America  

Gustavo Arellano is author of Orange County: A Personal History and Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, a features writer for the Los Angeles Times, and has been an essayist and reporter for various publications and a frequent commentator on radio and television. He was formerly editor of OC Weekly, an alternative newspaper in Orange County, California, and penned the award-winning “¡Ask a Mexican!,” a nationally syndicated column in which he answered any and all questions about America's spiciest and largest minority. Gustavo is the recipient of awards ranging from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies Best Columnist to the Los Angeles Press Club President's Award to an Impacto Award from the National Hispanic Media Coalition, and was recognized by the California Latino Legislative Caucus with a 2008 Spirit Award for his “exceptional vision, creativity, and work ethic.” Gustavo is a lifelong resident of Orange County and is the proud son of two Mexican immigrants, one who came to this country in the trunk of a Chevy.


Hallie Davison

Producer, The Taco Chronicles Netflix Series   

Hallie Davison is a Texas-born documentary television and film producer based in Mexico City. Currently, her projects focus on food and the way it intersects with people's daily lives. Her most recent series is the James Beard Award-winning  ‘Las Crónicas del Taco’ (Taco Chronicles) on Netflix. Other television projects include the upcoming ‘Eater’s Guide to the World’ for Hulu and Discovery Channel’s 'SEPT19MBRE: Relatos de un sismo’ about the 2017 earthquakes. In addition to television and film, she has created videos and multimedia stories for international organizations like the U.N. and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). She dreams about Doña Guille's perfect tortillas de agua in Hermosillo, Sonora.


José R. Ralat

Author, American Tacos: A History and Guide  

José R. Ralat is the author of American Tacos: A History and Guide, the first national survey of regional tacos in the U.S. He is also Texas Monthly magazine's taco editor. Ralat lives in Dallas.



Mike Sutter

Writer, San Antonio Express-News  

Mike Sutter is the restaurant critic for the San Antonio Express-News. He’s written about 730 taquerias and taco trucks for yearlong projects in San Antonio and Austin. He’s the founder of the website Fed Man Walking, and he’s appeared on ABC’s “To Tell the Truth” and NPR’s “All Things Considered” and written for Bon Appetit and the Wall Street Journal. 



Diana Barrios Trevino

Owner and Chef of Los Barrios  

Behind chef Diana Barrios Treviño’s three San Antonio family restaurants is more than just authentic Tex-Mex and continental cooking. It’s the legacy of Viola Barrios, Diana’s mother, who became one of San Antonio’s best-loved chefs. The family business started in 1979 when Viola, recently widowed, decided to open a restaurant in an old garage and named it  Los Barrios . Diana has appeared on ABC’s  Good Morning America and has also had (and won!) a puffy taco  Throwdown with Bobby Flay. The puffy taco is a Los Barrios specialty, which the likes of President Barack Obama got a chance to try during a Congressional picnic held on the grounds of the White House. The Barrios family was invited to represent the Southern part of the United States.



Watch the Recording

The Future of Local Cuisine and San Antonio’s Culinary Identity
June 23, 2020 @ Noon - 1pm

Local restaurateurs and small business experts come together and discuss what the future landscape of San Antonio cuisine and tourism may look like.

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Cookbooks, Cuisine and Cultura
July 9, 2020 @ Noon - 1pm

Join us for a savory discussion of culture, food and history as we explore the UTSA Libraries’ Mexican Cookbook Collection, the nation’s largest.

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Food Insecurity in the COVID Era
July 21, 2020 @ Noon - 1pm

Join our panelists for a discussion of the current research and approaches taken to tackle food insecurity across our communities.

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Getting Food to our Grocery Stores and Tables: COVID’s Impacts on the Supply Chain 
August 06, 2020 @ Noon - 1pm

Join our panelists as they discuss the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on our food supply chain and measures being taken to address the challenges.

Watch the Recording

Tacos, Texas and Tradition
August 20, 2020 @ Noon - 1pm

From puffy to breakfast to street, San Antonio loves its tacos! This entertaining panel will explore what makes a taco a taco, and how this favorite cuisine of South Texas has evolved over time.

Watch the Recording