Last month, I had the delicious honor of emceeing the Sun Valley Harvest Festival, and what made it particularly delicious and fun was getting to meet and learn from chef Rodrigo Bueno and sample his culinary treats. Bueno demonstrated amazing goat tacos all the while explaining about how he sources his quality ingredients from the on-site organic farm and local purveyors. It was a "qualitarian’s" dream!
Now, visitors to Baja California will have a chance to sample chef Bueno's cuisine and more at the first ever "Best of Baja" culinary weekend. Culinary dynamos from Northern and Southern Baja will convene at Rancho Pescadero, just an hour north of Cabo San Lucas, from Nov. 14 to 17 to share their cuisine. Chef Bueno of Rancho Pescadero will be joined by Guadalupe Valley’s Diego Hernandez-Baquedano and Tijuana chef Javier Plascencia, as well as renowned winemaker Phil Gregory of Vena Cava, for a weekend of culinary seminars, chef dinners, wine tasting, and more. In between, guests will have a chance to surf, take daily complimentary yoga classes, walk on the nearly empty white sandy beach, and just relax by either of the two pools or numerous hammocks and daybeds found scattered throughout the property.
Some may know Javier Plascencia of Misión 19 and Finca Altozano as the chef who has single-handedly changed the dining scene in Tijuana, as chronicled in a New Yorker story early last year. Chef Diego Hernández-Baquedano’s Corazón de Tierra
was just named one of the top 50 best Latin American restaurants by Restaurant Magazine's World’s Best Awards, and Vena Cava wine was the only wine served with the main course at the G-8 Summit in Mexico City last year.
Chef Bueno, who will play host to this illustrious group, was the executive sous chef at the One & Only Palmilla before coming to Rancho Pescadero about two years ago. His menu is farm- and sea-to-table and he gets a majority of his produce from the organic garden on the resort's property. He also sources fresh fish daily and gets cheese and dairy products from the farmers in the nearby mountains. He specializes in regional Mexican cuisine, but often adds a more sophisticated Spanish twist, based on his experiences in Europe and abroad. For example, this Seafood Tumbada rice dish — which you can recreate at home by following this recipe — is one such creation. It is a brothy version of paella and in it chef Bueno uses fresh local fish as well as traditional Mexican ingredients such as tomatoes, cilantro, and guajillo peppers, and tequila of course.
The "Best of Baja" culinary weekend will deliver several opportunities to delight your palate, and a chance to bring the flavors of Mexico home. Learn to treat friends and family to exceptional Mexican cuisine, made with quality ingredients that make all the difference. For rates and additional information, visit the Rancho Pescadero website.