Come for Vacation and Stay for the Cuisine in Cabo San Lucas
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, has long been the holiday spot for Spring Breakers and snowbird Northerners (as well as the stray Californian). A luxury development situated along the Pacific Ocean, Quivira Los Cabos brings together the Pueblo Bonito Resorts, the Quivira Golf Club, The Market At Quivira, and a number of residential communities. Once you arrive, there is little need to leave – even though local spots like the Cabo San Lucas Marina, the Cabo Wabo Cantina, and the Baja Brewing Company are just miles away – as these on-site destinations also offer high-end dining, fine wine, swimming, hiking, and plenty of other outdoor activities.
While visiting Quivira Los Cabos, I received world-class service from nearly every employee I had encountered. I interviewed seven to learn more about the cuisine and overall lifestyle of the city that many call Cabo. Interestingly, many of the staffers provided similar answers, which only goes to show why Cabo San Lucas has not only a top travel destinations in Mexico, but home to many expat Americans. Read on to hear from the following staff members: Octavio Hernández, executive chef at Pueblo Bonito Pacifica; Quivira Steakhouse’s César Vargas, corporate chef, and Carlos Arriaga, chef patron; Miguel Vargas, head butler, Mizraim Corpus, general manager, and Obet Montiel, food and beverage manager, of Pueblo Bonito Golf & Spa Resorts.
The Daily Meal: How long have you lived in Cabo San Lucas?
Octavio Hernández: 24 years. I’m originally from Márquelia.
César Vargas: 15 years in Cabo and with Pueblo Bonito.
Carlos Arriaga: Two years
Armando Garcia: This is my second time living in Cabo. The first time was in the early 90s. After 15 years in different destinations, I came back two years ago.
Miguel Vargas: This month is my fifth year anniversary in Cabo and working at Pueblo Bonito Resorts.
Mizraim Corpus: I have been here for 18 years.
Obet Montiel: Almost two years.
What is your favorite part of living in Cabo?
Octavio Hernández: The tranquility; you can enjoy its natural beauty, the desert, and the sunsets over the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean, as well as El Arco, the famous Arch at Land’s End.
Carlos Arriaga: The pace of life, peace and tranquility. Good cuisine.
Armando Garcia: Los Cabos is still unspoiled. My favorite part is all the different contrasts in this destination (desert, cactus, mountains and ocean). It is a very unique combination.
Miguel Vargas: The beaches and all the activities you can enjoy, like swimming, fishing or just relaxing.
Obet Montiel: The different activities that the destination offers, such as boat trips, bicycle tours, beautiful beaches, natural landscapes, gastronomic diversity and nightlife.
How would you describe the cuisine of Cabo?
Octavio Hernández: Very ancestral and native, with original flavors that you can’t find elsewhere. This applies as much as in its maritime proteins as in its healing roots, which were used by the "pericues" and "cochimires" tribes – natives of Baja – and which we now use in our Peninsula restaurant to make sauces, jams, and even fresh flavored water at the Armonia Spa.
César Vargas: Seafood and local produce from the countryside.
Carlos Arriaga: New trends in Mexican cuisine and a strong reliance on organic ingredients and seafood
Armando Garcia: An extraordinary mix of Baja California – organic local products – and Mexican cuisine
Miguel Vargas: It is an international mix, with Indian, Greek Italian, Mexican, and seafood
Obet Montiel: Cabo is the paradise of gastronomy. Being a tourist place, it attracts chefs from different parts of the world, which results in great culinary diversity.
Is there something you wish more people knew about Cabo?
César Vargas: Here in Los Cabos we have unique ingredients, such as the Cabrilla, Marlin, Dorado and the “chiluda” clam, among others that are only found in the region. We cook these, mainly with fresh ingredients from local farms, and from our own orchards at the resorts. Also, the destination offers gastronomic festivals with great local and international chefs.
Carlos Arriaga: That in addition to beautiful beaches, the destination has a lot to offer. We have very good gastronomic offerings with elaborate flavors and techniques.
Armando Garcia: Cabo has become a culinary hotspot. There are restaurants of all levels for all tastes, from a formal dinner at a restaurant with famous chefs to a simple traditional dinner, infused with local flavors.
Miguel Vargas: It’s festive, but it’s not only a party destination. Here you can find many places to visit. For shopping, there’s Artesanos – Mexican handicrafts – plus a glass factory and art galleries, to mention just a few spots.
Mizraim Corpus: I wish there was more awareness about food. There are great options for dining and gourmet food in Cabo, especially at the Pueblo Bonito resorts. Everybody seems to know about top hotels, fishing and golf, but Cabo should be better known as a gourmet destination.
Obet Montiel: That regardless of what you hear, Cabo is a very quiet place to live. It's like being on vacation any day of the week. On any day off or on the weekend, you have the option of being a tourist in your own town.