Next Up

Marcela's Day of the Dead Party

At Marcela Valladolid's house, the most-lively gathering of the year is for the Day of the Dead.
1 / 14
Photo: Coral von Zumwalt ©

It's All About Tradition

"My whole life, I've wanted to have big gatherings that are about food and tradition," says Marcela, who has two sons, Fausto, 12, and David, 1, and a third child on the way. For her Day of the Dead party, she designs the menu around her mom's most-loved foods, including empanadas and popcorn, and Día de los Muertos classics such as Mexican hot chocolate. 

Photography by Coral Von Zumwalt

More photos after this Ad

2 / 14
Photo: Coral von Zumwalt ©

The Altar

Every year at the end of October, Marcela builds an elaborate altar in her Chula Vista, Calif., backyard and places Mountain Dew and a Big Hunk candy bar on it. It's her way of remembering her late mother, Maria, for the Day of the Dead — and despite the name of the Mexican holiday, it's not at all morbid or sad. "It's about celebrating life," The Kitchen co-host explains.

More photos after this Ad

3 / 14
Photo: Coral von Zumwalt ©

Face Paint

Children get their faces painted in traditional Day of the Dead designs.

More photos after this Ad

4 / 14
Photo: Coral von Zumwalt ©

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Mexican hot chocolate is a classic drink for the Day of the Dead.
get the recipe

More photos after this Ad

Next Up

We Recommend