WESTLAKE, Ohio — Chef Maira Isabel has been hired by TravelCenters of America Inc. (TA) to reinvent food offerings at the company’s stores, including TA, Petro Stopping Centers and TA Express locations across the nation.
According to a news release, Isabel “will focus on adding flavorful, healthy offerings and integrating food trends and regional specialties into the menus of TA’s Country Pride and Iron Skillet restaurants.”
Before moving to the U.S., Isabel was a chef and on-air talent for multiple television shows for many years and was the Puerto Rico hostess of Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel. Her career has spanned TV, print and online publications, including the Cooking Network, Travel Channel and Food & Beverage Magazine.
She is also a best-selling cookbook author and has spent time perfecting her culinary skills in Italy, France, Colombia, Spain, Mexico and Morocco.
“With over 150 full-service restaurants nationwide, TA continues expanding its portfolio to serve the needs of all travelers,” the news release stated. “In addition to proprietary brands Country Pride and Iron Skillet, TA launched Fork & Compass in January 2023 in Perrysburg, Ohio. Fork & Compass is designed to be an attractive option for all travelers and a destination spot for the community, with unique food options in a casual, comfortable, family-friendly atmosphere. TA also added five IHOPs and two Black Bear Diners in 2022, with plans to open more full-service restaurants this year.”
Additionally, company officials said that TA will continue supporting the health and well-being of all travelers through its collaboration with Cleveland Clinic, noting that Isabel’s menus will offer healthy meal options approved by the institution and will be highlighted with a heart-healthy logo.
TA also to expand beyond these menu offerings by working with Cleveland Clinic to identify healthy snack and grab-and-go food options in its travel stores, according to the news release.
“Chef Maira’s diverse background working in restaurants around the world, coupled with her sincere passion and enthusiasm, will elevate the sit-down dining experience at our travel centers,” Lloyd Sanford, TA’s senior vice president of hospitality, said. “Every culinary decision will be focused on ensuring we deliver on our mission of returning every traveler to the road better than they came.”
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