Skip to Content

This Is What It’s Like to Serve Tacos at Chrissy Teigen and John Legend’s Party

4:07 PM PDT on March 12, 2018

Only in Los Angeles can Hollywood and taco culture collide the way it did on Oscar night when Chrissy Teigen and John Legend called upon the taquero powers of Boyle Heights’ own Mariscos Jalisco to cater their private viewing party.

L.A. Taco: How did this whole thing start?
Raul Ortega: It all started with a phone call that I didn’t answer. They traced my daughter’s phone number on the second truck (and she usually doesn’t work on Sundays), so they got a hold of her. She called to ask me if I could cater an event for somebody on the same day they called. I said, “no, that’s not possible.” We usually need days in advance so I can prepare. She informed the contact that we would not do it, but the contact insisted. My daughter called me back and told me, “they told me it is only for 10 people.” I responded, “even worse!” We don’t do less than 80 people per event and our minimum is about a $1,000 per event.

My daughter called them back to tell them and they said they would pay us that amount for just those 10 people!

They are very, very nice and normal people who just wanted to have some tacos, you know?

Are you fans of Chrissy Teigen or John Legend?
First of all, I didn’t know who this person even was but I saw my daughters trying hard to convince me to go. When they said they could pay me, I thought: Well, I don’t have to prepare a lot for that amount of people? We decided to go. They were waiting for us to get there and were very happy and excited to see us. Everybody came out when the truck arrived. We parked in their private garage and waited for them to ask us for their food.

I got to know them afterward. They are very nice people. John Legend even gave me some bottles of wine at the end. My daughters eventually told me that they are very famous. If I had all that money, I would do the same.

Maybe one day I’ll see them in Boyle Heights? I think they’ll call me back.

What was their first reaction to your tacos?
They were super, super, super happy. I heard the crunch of the tacos, of course. I see these kinds of expressions every time I see a new person coming to my truck. I see their faces and they love it. They got some tacos, took a bite, went inside, and then came back and got some more! They didn’t eat a lot but I can tell they enjoyed every bite that they took. Between everybody, they probably ate about 30 tacos and a few fish ceviche tostadas.

It was a big difference from another party I just catered where one guy ate eight tacos by himself. Some people just don’t stop eating and others don’t eat much but enjoy every bite, I guess.

What did this whole experience mean to you as a taquero?
They tracked us down because they saw “Ugly Delicious” and wanted some tacos — bad. It was fun and something special for both us and them. They are very, very nice and normal people who just wanted to have some tacos, you know?

Maybe one day I’ll see them in Boyle Heights? I think they’ll call me back.

Thank you for speaking with us.

Already a user?Log in

Thanks for reading!

Register to continue

Become a Member

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from L.A. TACO

Spot Check: Colombian Desgranados In Echo Park, Mexican Wine Festival At Mírate, and Perverted Waffles in DTLA

Plus, a party highlighting pan-African cuisine, a new Taiwanese cookbook by an awarded local from the San Gabriel Valley, and a Little Saigon food festival that starts tonight! Welcome back to Spot Check!

September 22, 2023

This 24-Year-Old Latina Mortician Beautifies the Dead and Influences the Living

Growing up in Arleta with a first-generation family from El Salvador, Berrios admits that her family only embraced her career choice two years ago, after she started to win awards like “Young Funeral Director of the Year.” The 24-year-old works as the licenced funeral director and embalmer at Hollywood Forever cemetery. As a young person born in peak Generation Z, she's documented her deathcare journey on TikTok and has accrued more than 43K followers on the platform. 

September 21, 2023

Meet ‘Carnitas Rogelio,’ The Family-Run Stand With The Best Michoacán-Style Carnitas O.C. Has to Offer

Michoacán-raised Rogelio Gonzalez slices the cuerito (the pig skin) in a checkered pattern to ensure a light crunch in each bite and utilizes every part of the pig, from the feet to the liver and intestines, which he binds together in a braid. 

September 20, 2023

‘The Office’ Star Rainn Wilson Brought Jerk Chicken Tacos to the Picket Lines Outside of Paramount Studios

In three hours, D's Tipsy Tacos and her team passed out “roughly 100 plates” of tacos, burritos, rice, beans, nachos, and quesadillas to striking screenwriters and actors.

September 19, 2023

Five Common Plants to Avoid When Creating Your Green Spaces in L.A.

Almost every time I visit a property with landscaping issues, the problem starts with bad design: the wrong plants in the wrong place. Here's advice from a third-generation L.A. landscaper and noted taco expert.

September 19, 2023
See all posts