Yes, I’m Silvia Martinez, Winner of The Great American Recipe. Yay!


I'm thrilled to announce that yes, I'm Silvia Martinez, winner of “The Great American Recipe,” a new uplifting cooking competition from PBS. Today I'm going to share a few details about my adventure, and how you can watch the show.

Silvia Martinez contestant on The Great American Recipe

Table of Contents

What is The Great American Recipe

The Great American Recipe is an eight-part cooking competition celebrating the multiculturalism that makes American food so unique.

The show blends food, family, and fun, lifting up the extraordinary variety of tastes and traditions found across the U.S. while capturing the roots of America's diverse cuisine.

Each episode of the series showcases two of each contestant's beloved signature dishes and the family stories behind them.

Where to Watch The Great American Recipe

There are still various ways to watch it.

  1. On TV, either with an antenna or through cable television. Please check your local PBS station listings for times and dates.
  2. Streaming on
  3. Streaming on the PBS Video App.
Chef Tiffany Derry, Chef Alejandra Ramos, Chef Graham Elliot and Chef Leah Cohen, host and judges of the Great American Recipe, sitting on a table
Chef Tiffany Derry, Chef Alejandra Ramos, Chef Graham Elliot and Chef Leah Cohen, host and judges. The Great American Recipe. Photo courtesy @PBS

Contestants, Host and Judges

Chef Alejandra Ramos hosts and the panel of judges includes renowned Chefs Tiffany Derry, Leah Cohen and Graham Elliot.

One of the things that makes this show great is the stories and passion each contestant brings to the table. I feel so honored to call them my friends:

Bambi Daniels (Winston-Salem, NC), Brian Leigh (Bowling Green, KY), Christina McAlvey (Portland, OR), Dan Rinaldi (Providence, RI), Foo Nguyen (Orange County, CA), Irma Cadiz (New York, NY), Nikki Tomaino-Allemand (Boise, Idaho), Robin Daumit (Annapolis, MD), Tony Scherber (Minneapolis, MN) with me, Silvia Martinez (San Luis Obispo, CA). (See selfie below)

For full bios and more details please visit the official website.

The ten contestants of The Great American Recipe, Brian, Tony, Robin, Bambi, Christina, Irma, Foo, Dan, Silvia and Nikki
From left to right. Top row, Brian, Tony, Robin, Bambi. Middle row, Christina and Irma. Bottom row, Foo, Dan, Silvia, and Nikki.

Fun Facts

The Great American Recipe was filmed in September of 2021 in Virginia.

The other 9 contestants and I arrived a few days before the first day of taping.

The first contestant I met was Foo. We were on the same plane (without knowing it) and we shared a car from the airport to the hotel. We talked a lot on that ride and we have been close friends since.

We had to go through covid testing every morning before arriving at the set and we had to wear masks while not filming.

We, the contestants, stayed at a hotel about 45 minutes away from the set, and we were not allowed to leave the hotel grounds. The production team, the host and the judges were in different hotels as well.

The Great American Recipe Host and Judges. Chef Alejandra Ramos is holding a recipe card with the name of the show

List of Episodes

Episode 1 “If I Were A Recipe”

The ten home cooks' first challenge is to create a 60-minute dish that “defines who they are.” In the second round, the cooks have to prepare a 90-minute dish that represents the region where they live. (Air date Friday, June 24th, 2022).

I created Red Chilaquiles with Eggs for the first challenge and Tri-Tip tacos with my avocado salsa for the second challenge.

red chilaquiles with a sunny side egg on top

Episode 2 “The Daily Dish”

In the first round, the home cooks prepare their most beloved dish in a pinch recipe using their pantry staples. In the second round of the competition, the cooks have 90 minutes to make their most crowd-pleasing recipe. (Air date, Friday, July 1st, 2022).

I created Choriqueso with Handmade Flour Tortillas for the first round and chicken tostadas with red salsa for the second round.

Tostada de pollo con frijoles, aguacate, verduras queso y crema

Episode 3 “Love Language”

The remaining eight cooks share their favorite comfort foods and a dish inspired by a loved one. From first-date cuisine to sentimental recipes passed down through generations, love is definitely in the air. (Air date, Friday, July 8th, 2022.

It was a big day for me with 2 top recipes. I created Mexican mantecadas with whipped cream and lime atole for the first challenge and albondigas in chipotle sauce with white rice for the second challenge.

Mexican mantecadas with red wrapers

Episode 4 “Moveable Feasts”

The remaining seven cooks prepare handheld dishes in the first round and dishes they can enjoy at an outdoor event for the second round. From picnics to tailgating to poolside, everyone has a delicious dish that tastes like sunshine and fun. (Air date, July 15th, 2022).

It was a fun day! For the first round, I create a BLT burrito. An irresistible combination of bacon flour tortillas filled with crunchy bacon, tomato, lettuce and a habanero mayo.

For the second challenge, I share the Mexican classic torta de milanesa (Milanese Mexican Sandwich) and the always-refreshing Mexican lime agua fresca. The torta features layers of breaded chicken, cheese, lettuce, avocado, and condiments and is topped with pickled jalapeños.

Agua Fresca de Limón

Episode 5 “Party on a Plate”

The six remaining home cooks share dishes that honor a special event in their life in the first round. In the second round, the cooks have two hours to prepare a recipe that celebrates a holiday tradition in which they serve family style to both the judges and their fellow competitors.

From modern takes on classic gourmet fare to old-time family recipes filled with love and memories, it’s a special night in the barn. (Air date, July 22nd, 2022).

For the first round, I share sopa tarasca, a creamy pinto bean soup made of roasted tomatoes, beans, and chile ancho and topped with crispy tortilla strips, queso fresco, avocado, and fried chile ancho.

pinto bean soup - sopa tarasca

For the second challenge, I share one of my favorite dishes, Chiles en Nogada, roasted poblano peppers filled with a sweet and savory mixture of meats, fruits, and nuts and covered with walnut cream.

chile en nogada

Episode 6 “Mix It Up”

Watch what happens when in the first round the five remaining cooks are surprised with a major twist. They must swap recipes and prepare each other’s dishes. Then, each must wow the judges with an original fusion dish that represents their own uniquely American story. (Air date, July 29th, 2022).

In the first round I prepare Caccio e Pepe (Dan's recipe) while Dan prepares my sweet and savory turkey empanadas with watermelon agua fresca.

For the second round I prepare a Californian salad and lemon-balsamic salmon.

Salmon con salsa de limón y vinagre balsámico servido con verduras

Episode 7 “Family”

The four remaining cooks prepare two dishes inspired by their friends and families. In the first round, they create a recipe inspired by a close friend, and in the second round, they prepare their family's most treasured recipe.

Whether it’s a neighbor’s lasagna or a dish passed down from grandma, the judges are in for some heartfelt food. (Air date, August 5th, 2022).

For the first round I prepare one of my all-time favorite salads I learned from a very good friend of mine (and my husband's cousin), Cherryl. This macadamia-chicken salad is a delightful combination of shredded chicken, crunchy macadamia nuts, bacon, dates, celery, and condiments served in a warm chiabata roll.

For the second round, I share my family's authentic green pozole with chicken recipe. A traditional Mexican soup that features hominy and chicken cooked in a salsa verde broth and served with lettuce, radishes, onion, lime juice, and tostadas.

green pozole with chicken

Episode 8 “The Great American Recipe”

It’s time for the season finale!

In the first round, the cooks prepare a recipe inspired by someone they love to cook with in the kitchen.

In the final round, the cooks have three hours to prepare an entrée with a side dish and a dessert that best represents their Great American Recipe. Plus, some surprise guests arrive to help them with their final dishes. (Air date, August 12, 2022).

For the first round I prepare a pesto pizza, a dish I often prepare on Pizza Fridays at home with my husband.

My Great American Recipe is parrillada tacos with a side dish of linguica beans and tres leches cake for dessert.

tres leches cake

Stream The Great American Recipe (Season 1) episodes here.

Silvia Martinez
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