TravelCenters of America (TA) has named Maira Isabel as its new corporate executive chef, according to a company announcement.
Isabel will focus her efforts mainly on the lineup for Country Pride and Iron Skillet, two of TA’s proprietary restaurant brands. She “will focus on adding flavorful, healthy offerings and integrating food trends and regional specialties into the menus,” according to the announcement.
Isabel’s menus will include healthy options in conjunction with the Cleveland Clinic, TA’s health and wellness partner. Because of TA’s focus on professional drivers, the retailer created this partnership to make sure those drivers have healthier options to choose from while they’re on the road.
The healthy options are marked with a heart icon on the restaurants’ menus.
“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,” said Lloyd Sanford, TA’s senior vice president of hospitality. “Every culinary decision will be focused on ensuring we deliver on our mission of returning every traveler to the road better than they came.”
Isabel has served as TV host on the Travel Channel’s Puerto Rican edition of Bizarre Foods, written a best-selling cookbook and traveled to numerous countries to broaden her cooking skills, including Italy, France, Colombia, Spain, Mexico and Morocco, according to the announcement.
TravelCenters of America operates 285 travel centers in 44 states under the TA, Petro Stopping Centers and TA Express banners. Besides convenience stores and restaurants, the travel centers also offer gasoline and diesel, truck repair and more. In addition to Iron Skillet and Country Pride, TA recently unveiled a new full-service dining option called Fork & Compass.