The second annual Baja California Culinary Fest will celebrate the region’s artisan fare and premium wines in cities throughout Northern Baja on Oct. 11-14.
Featuring special dinners, interactive events, cooking classes, competitions and entertainment, the region’s bountiful ingredients will take center stage with special guest stars from Sinaloa and California.
Headlining this year’s festival is a six-course guest chef meal merging the flavors of Baja and Sinaloa, a state also famous for its fresh seafood.
Chefs Luis Osuna, Marino Maganda and Julian Portugal of Sinaloa, as well as Chef Bernard Guillas of La Jolla, Calif., will cook alongside Baja gastronomic celebrities Javier Plascencia, Miguel Angel Guerrero and Benito Molina, pioneers of the Baja Med movement.
Baja Med infuses the region’s Mediterranean-like ingredients and Asian influences into traditional Mexican fare, and has been praised by American food personalities including Anthony Bourdain, Rick Bayless and Andrew Zimmern.
“It’s like Tuscany down there. It’s amazing. It’s the great undiscovered wonderland. Rolling hills, grape arbors and great chefs cooking very forward, very subtle, very local, very good food,” said Anthony Bourdain, after filming a No Reservations episode in the region.
Other event highlights include a guided cheese cellar tour and a sailing trip on Ensenada Bay. Marcelo Castro, cheese maker at Cava de Marcelo, Latin America’s only cheese cellar open to the public, will guide guests through tastings of his gourmet cheeses, some aged up to 3 years and infused with basil, black pepper, and rosemary. The Ensenada sailing trip concludes at La Guerrerense, Sabina Bandera’s legendary ceviche tostada cart.
“Northern Baja California is blessed with a microclimate that’s ideal for winemaking, farming and fishing,” said Baja California State Secretary of Tourism Juan Tintos Funcke. “The incredible ingredients our state produces combined with culinary talents and a cultural passion for hospitality, gourmet cuisine, fine wines and craft microbrews create an ideal foodie experience. We invite gourmands from across the globe to come celebrate with us!”
The festival will also incorporate the nearly 70 boutique and large production wineries, as well as the numerous craft breweries hailing from the region.
For more information about Baja California and its culinary attractions, visit www.discoverbajacalifornia.com.
*Contributed by Baja California Culinary Fest