A graduate of the Los Angeles Culinary Institute, Marcela moved to Paris where she joined Ritz Escoffier Cooking School and became a classically trained pastry chef. She returned to Tijuana a few years later and started her own catering business. In her earlier career days, she also worked as an editor for Bon Appetit magazine and a recipe stylist.
In 2005, Valladolid participated in the reality game show The Apprentice: Martha Stewart where she finished at fourth place. During this time, Marcela began hosting her first cooking show Relatos con Sabor, which gave her early recognition in television. She published her first cookbook titled Fresh Mexico: 100 Simple Recipes for True Mexican Flavor in August 2009.
In January 2010, Marcela returned to the small screen with her new cooking show called Mexican Made Easy on Food Network. In September 2011, she released her second cookbook, also called Mexican Made Easy. In addition to her experience as a culinary expert and author, Marcela has also made an appearance as one of the judges in Food Network’s Throwdown! With Bobby Flay. She also appeared on the judge panel on the CBS cooking reality series The American Baking Competition.
Marcela began hosting The Kitchen in January 2014. She appears on the show alongside celebrity chefs Jeff Mauro, Sunny Anderson, Katie Lee, and Geoffrey Zakarian. As of 2016, Marcela has earned an estimated net worth of $6.5 million dollars.
Her new cookbook, Casa Marcela: Recipes and Food Stories of My Life in the Californias, is scheduled for an April 2017 release.