Podcast Episode 4: Jeraldine Mendoza & Dylan Gutierrez

On episode 4 of the Rogue Ballerina podcast, we welcome Joffrey Ballet Company Artists Jeraldine Mendoza and Dylan Gutierrez. It’s also the Valentine’s episode, and this real-life couple is THE cutest!

Jeraldine Mendoza joined The Joffrey Ballet in 2011. She was born in San Francisco, CA, and trained at City Ballet School of San Francisco since the age of five. At 17, she was invited to graduate in the Russian course at the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow. She later won 1st place at the YAGP San Francisco Regional Semi-Finals in 2011. In 202, she won the young artists’ scholarship from the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund and later graced the cover of Dance Magazine in May 2015, the magazine’s first international issue. You can follow her on Instagram @jeraldm

Dylan Gutierrez joined the Joffrey in 2009. He grew up in Van Nuys, CA, and received his training at the Los Angeles Ballet Academy under the direction of his mother Andrea-Paris Gutierrez. In 2006, he was awarded a full scholarship to train the The Royal Ballet School in London and later was offered a job as an apprentice with the San Francisco Ballet. You can follow him on Instagram @dylanrgutierrez

You can read their full bios and learn more about the roles they’ve danced by visiting joffrey.org. All photos by Cheryl Mann.

Links to topics discussed:

Jeraldine wins the Annenberg Grant

Jeraldine and Dylan dance together in Gerald Arpino’s Sea Shadow

WTTW’s Emmy-Award winning Nutcracker documentary (with a cameo by Kahlua)

Action Lines: Interim Avoidance showings will take place Feb. 1 – April 30 at 150 N. Riverside Plaza, Monday – Friday: 8:00 – 9:30 AM, and 4:30 – 8:00 PM, and Saturdays: 1:00-7:00 PM. All attendees are required to wear a face covering.

It Was All A Dream video

Interview on the making of It Was All A Dream

Black Star Project

Excerpt from Joffrey’s 60th anniversary book.

Restaurants mentioned:


The Bristol

Pacific Standard Time (now closed)


Mirai Sushi


Cafe Tola



Dinner & a Show: Cooking with Rogue

Since we likely won’t be going to the theater to see a performance anytime soon, I’ve decided to start having a recurring “dinner and a show” segment to satiate my appetites for dance and food where I’ll cook a meal and pair it with a dance video – likely heavy on the ballet – for a relaxing evening of culinary culture. I will share recipes, information on the dance content, and some fun tips along the way: Cooking with Rogue!

I enjoy the process of cooking more than eating the finished product (usually). It’s similar to writing for me. You’re still using your brain and hands, but there are step-by-step instructions as a guideline in a recipe as opposed to creating the content from scratch. As much as I like having rules, I love breaking them! I like to play around with things when I cook to varying degrees of success. But since it’s usually only me, who cares.

I’ve been OBSESSED with Asian food and flavors for a while. I have two cabinet shelves dedicated to Asian sauces, spices, and ingredients. My favorite place to shop is Hong Kong Market (Park & Shop!) in Uptown. I tend to spend an hour at a time looking through the store because I find it fascinating and I don’t know what the hell I’m looking for most of the time (pictures help). Often I have a post-it with an ingredient list and just show someone who works there – again – with varying degrees of success. So expect a ton of Asian dishes. Leave it to me to come up with a good dance and wine pairing*.

Dan Dan Noodles with Chardonnay.

For this inaugural “Dinner & a Show” we have the Sichuan classic Dan Dan Noodles paired with Alexander Ekman’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. The thought behind this is the noodles are really spicy and spicy food gives you nightmares – Act 2 of Midsummer is basically a crazy nightmare, and viola. Pair with Chardonnay…always. *This will be a running joke because I pair everything with Chardonnay.

I used this recipe from The Woks of Life. It uses a LOT of ingredients, is VERY labor intensive, and took me WAY longer than the recipe says to finish. First you make the chili oil (it makes more than needed so you have some leftover for everything else you put it on…like everything). Then comes the meat mixture, the sauce, and finally the noodles and veg.

Chili oil. This Sh*t is HOT!

The HOT sauce and yummy bok choy.

I left out the star anise from the chili oil. I don’t like the taste of black licorice and there is already some in the Chinese 5 spice blend. I substituted ground turkey for the pork, because it’s leaner and that’s what I had in my fridge leftover from the Labor Day turkey burger fiasco (blergh). It has this strange, but delicious fermented vegetable stuff called sui mi ya cai (this was the pointing at a post-it moment). I chose bok choy as my leafy green and scallions – always! – for the garnish. Otherwise, I stuck close to the recipe. It calls for 1/2 cup of the chili oil in the sauce which also has more peppercorns. This is a “spicy, numbing” dish, so it be hot! It doesn’t seem so at first, then you start to feel it….and sweat…and your lips burn…and you need water…and holy crap! But it tastes so good, you keep going back for another bite. I like that 🙂

REM cycle.

Now for the show portion of this culinary coupling: Ekman’s Midsummer. My first viewing was the BelAir Classiques dvd of the Royal Swedish Ballet, the company for which it was created. The marketing team at Joffrey watched it to prep for the 2017-2018 season and, honestly, I thought…WTF is that? It’s definitely not something “our” ballet dancers are used to performing. What will our audience think? It was a big risk – and it totally paid off. Everyone who saw it LOVED it! This peek into the mad genius mind of Ekman was an all-evening event, not just a show. Team Sweden: Marie-Louise Sid-Sylwander, Preston McBrain, and Joakim Stephenson made the process a joy. I love these people.

Or, you can also splurge like I did and purchase a subscription to Marquee TV (Thanks IDES!) and watch Midsummer and other Ekman works there. Bon Appetit and sweet dreams!