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Mexican Chefs in San Diego: Cuisine Without Borders

Chefs from Tijuana to Veracruz bring regional Mexican flavors to San Diego’s Dining Scene

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – When many think of Mexican food in San Diego, the ubiquitous fish taco, California burritos, loaded nachos and – gah! – stomach-busting chimichangas spring to mind. But with the rising global popularity of Mexican cuisine, a growing number of chefs from Baja California and other points in Mexico are preparing dishes north of the border with south of the border flair. Here are a few of the restaurants with chefs hailing from Veracruz to Tijuana who call San Diego’s restaurant scene “home”. And are probably cooking something really delicious right now…

Finch’s Bistro & Wine Bar
Mario Medina

With one parent from Puebla and the other from his hometown of Mexico City, chef Mario Medina was born with a an inherent love of Mexican cuisine. Finch’s Bistro & Wine Bar’s sun-dappled patio and elegant dining room are tucked away from the street on La Jolla’s charming Gerard Avenue. At Finch’s, Mario prepares his European Bistro menu with more than just a touch of Mexican influence. A trio of starters including stuffed flor de calabazas (squash blossoms), octopus with fingerling potatoes and crab avocado sopes showcase Mario’s blend of European sensibility and Mexican adventurism.

Finch’s Bistro & Wine Bar is located at 7644 Girard Avenue, La Jolla, California. (858) 456-4056. www.finchslajolla.com

Mexican Chefs in San Diego

Chef Mario Medina in the kitchen at Finch’s Bistro & Wine Bar.

Mexican Chefs in San Diego

From left: Stuffed squash blossoms, octopus with potato fingerlings, crab avocado sopes.

Zarco
Flor Franco

Chef Flor Franco, originally from Veracruz, has lived in San Diego most of her adult life. With two restaurants – Convivia in the Valle de Guadalupe and Zarco in Chula Vista – Flor exemplifies the current wave of Mexican and US chefs who are blurring culinary borders. Zarco showcases the cuisine and wine of the Valle de Guadalupe. Working with Fernando Gaxiola of Baja Wine + Food, the bar boasts around 100 different bottles of Valle wine – all available by the glass. The food transports one not only to the Valle, but to the Baja coast as well. El Gringo enjoyed the perfectly grilled huachinango (red snapper) with cauliflower, sweet potato and parsley.

Zarco is located at 277 3rd Avenue, Chula Vista, California. (619) 934-5700. www.zarcobaja.com

Mexican Chefs in San Diego

Chef Flor Franco with Fernando Gaxiola and representatives of Baja Tourism at Zarco.

Mexican Chefs in San Diego

Chef Flor Franco’s grilled red snapper with cauliflower, parsley & sweet potato.

Dobson’s Bar & Restaurant
Martin San Roman

When not at his Valle de Guadalupe restaurant La Terrasse San Roman at Alximia, acclaimed chef Martin San Roman can usually be found in downtown San Diego at the helm of the venerable Dobson’s Bar & Restaurant. Though the restaurant and its Paris-trained chef are known for French fare such as mussel bisque en croute and duck a’ l’Orange, San Roman hosts regular Baja-themed dinners at Dobson’s with pairings from LMA Wines and Baja Wine + Food. During these events, his “Baja Provençale” fusion of country French and Baja is highlighted in dishes such as the beef oxtail on puff pastry with red wine Pasilla chile sauce.

Dobson’s Bar & Restaurant is located at 956 Broadway Circle, San Diego. (619) 231-6771. www.dobsonsrestaurant.com

Mexican Chefs in San Diego

Chef Martin San Roman with Baja California wines at Dobson’s.

Mexican Chefs in San Diego

Beef oxtail on puff pastry with red wine Pasilla chile sauce.

Romesco Mexiterranean Bistro
Javier Plascencia

Grupo Plascencia’s Romesco restaurant was born from the family’s temporary exodus from Tijuana to Bonita in 2005. Though you won’t find busy chef Javier Plascencia in the kitchen most days, the restaurant’s capable and friendly staff – some who have been with the family 20+ years – competently prepare the chef’s “Mexiterranean” menu. Their mouthwateringly-good bone marrow sopes are an El Gringo favorite and go great with a pinch of sea salt and a bit of Romesco’s tangy salsa. Stop by on Tapas Tuesday for half price tapas from their extensive hot and cold selection. Chef Plascencia opens new restaurant Bracero in Little Italy this spring.

Romesco is located at 4346 Bonita Road (between Bonita Road & Billy Casper Way), Bonita, California. (619) 475-8627. www.romescomexmed.com

Mexican Chefs in San Diego

Chef Javier Plascencia at the Baja California Culinary Fest press conference in San Diego in 2013.

Mexican Chefs in San Diego

Savory and satisfying. Bone marrow sopes at Romesco.

El Agave Old Town
Mario Montes

El Agave Old Town is an oasis of authentic regional Mexican cuisine in the middle of the Tex/Cali-Mex predominant in Old Town. Here, chef Mario Montes and his staff prepare traditional dishes from Oaxaca, Puebla, the Yucatan and other regions where Mexican food has pre-hispanic roots. Their moles are extensive and adherent to traditional preparation methods and ingredients. Nouvelle Mexican options are also on the menu, such as the succulent camaron al tequila with citrus. Speaking of tequila, the restaurant houses over 2,000 bottles of the stuff – the largest collection in North America and all available to order.

El Agave is located at 2304 San Diego Avenue, Old Town, California. (619) 220-0692. www.elagave.com

Mexican Chefs in San Diego

El Agave houses over 2,000 bottles of tequila, all available to order.

Mexican Chefs in San Diego

Camaron al tequila at El Agave, Old Town.

Allure Restaurant
Melissa Magallon

A San Diego native born of Tijuanense parents, chef Melissa Magallon started her career at chef Brian Malarkey’s Oceanaire and grew with him into new restaurants HerringboneBurlap and Searsucker – where she became their first female sous chef. Her parents partnered with her to open Allure Restaurant in 2014 in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. The restaurant features hearty plates of New American cuisine using fresh, organic, sustainable local ingredients. Pork belly seemed to be a thing in 2014, and chef Melissa’s with compressed apples, maple glaze, candied chiles and cilantro pickled shallot melts in your mouth and is just the right balance of sweet and savory.

Allure Restaurant is located in the Gaslamp Quarter at 825 Fourth Avenue, San Diego, California. (619) 236-0800. www.alluresd.com

Mexican Chefs in San Diego

Chef Melissa Magallon in her kitchen at Allure Restaurant.

Mexican Chefs in San Diego

Pork belly with compressed apples, maple glaze, candied chilies and cilantro pickled shallot.

Did we miss any of your favorite San Diego based Mexican chefs here? Feel free to let us know in our comments section, below.

Your Gringo in Mexico via San Diego,
Scott

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

 

Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: January Events in Baja California

Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: January Events in Baja California

The New Year starts with a bang in Baja, with several of the peninsula’s signature events on tap during the first month of 2015. SCORE kicks off the off-road racing season with the Bud Light San Felipe 250. Former R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck will host and perform at the 4th annual Todos Santos Music Festival, along with The Jayhawks, Old 97′s and Drive-By Truckers. And after last year successful inaugural outing, the artist’s colony will also host its 2nd Writer’s Worshop for aspiring bards. Meanwhile, over on the state’s beautiful East Cape, the windsports mecca of Los Barriles will crown the world’s kiteboarding champion non pareil:  the magisterial sounding Lord of the Wind.

There are hundreds of local events that can be found on Baja.com. The following represent some of our favorite selections.

Event dates and details are subject to sudden change and cancellation. Please confirm with the event organizers before booking your trip.

January Events in Baja California

San Jose del CaboWeekly Art Walk

When:  Jan. 8, 15, 22, 29

Every Thursday evening between the months of November and June, fine arts galleries in San Jose del Cabo’s historic Distrito del Arte invite guests to sip wine, stroll the downtown neighborhood’s cobblestone streets, and view paintings, sculptures and other pieces from some of Baja’s finest artists.

Cost: Free admission

January Events in Baja California

East CapeLord of the Wind Showdown 2015

When:  Jan. 13 – 18

The coastal town of Los Barriles is home to one of the world’s most famous windsports competitions: The Lord of the Wind Showdown. Kiteboarding categories like slalom and big air help identify the winner, with more fun at affiliated events such as tamales cook-offs.

Cost:  Free admission for spectators

January Events in Baja California

Todos Santos4th Annual Todos Santos Music Festival

When:   Jan. 15 – 17, 21 – 24

Now in its fourth year, this collaboration between former R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, Hotel California, and the Palapa Society of Todos Santos features a series of concerts in the coastal pueblo magico over the course of two weekends. Performers include Buck, The Jayhawks, Old 97’s, and Drive-By Truckers, as well as area acts participating in the local musical showcase.

Cost: $50 pesos for Hotel California shows; free admission at final concert on the main plaza

January Events in Baja California

San Felipe2015 Bud Light SCORE San Felipe 250

When:   Jan. 22 – 25

SCORE International’s World Desert Champion Series kicks off in 2015 with the Bud Light San Felipe 250, scheduled for Jan. 22-25. This loop race starts and finishes in San Felipe, and is open to cars, trucks, motorcycles, ATVs and UTVs. Racers must have a SCORE membership to register.

Cost: $1,565 – $2,460 for entry, depending upon class

January Events in Baja California

Todos Santos2nd Annual Todos Santos Writer’s Workshop

When:  Jan. 26 – 31

The 2nd edition of the Todos Santos Writer’s Workshop will take place at the atmospheric Casa Dracula , with five days of intensive sessions, and workshop leaders such as Gordon Chaplin (Memoir), Rex Weiner (Non-Fiction), and Jean McCulloch (Fiction).

Cost:  $950

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

Baja Camper’s Corner: La Paz Here We Come

Baja Camper’s Corner: La Paz Here We Come

Baja Camper's Corner

We just call him “TEX” now!

December 1, 2014 – Well we arrived today in La Paz and have set up at Campestra Maranatha, a campground just north of La Paz in El Centenario. Our visit to Todos Santos earlier today is always a favorite, as many always look forward to the Hotel California experience.

They have a wonderful Cultural Center, Mission, Saints Alley and so many interesting shops. Lisa and I enjoyed our brunch, some headed over to George’s Taco Stand others at Cafelix. It was only a short drive today from Pescadero where we stayed at the Los Cerritos Surf Colony RV Park the night before. Although this is called an RV Park it is not much more than a parking lot with access to other amenities. Unfortunately the place sustained heavy damage from Hurricane Odile and was just commencing operation with the official opening tomorrow. The swim up bar and restaurant remained in renovation and should be ready in a couple of weeks. When we showed up they were just filling pool and only 2 tourists other than us were present. Teresa from Oregon office was supervising the opening and getting the operation up and going. We did manage to get in the pool and of course on the beach.

At 5 p.m. we headed for La Pasadita in Pescadero for our hosted dinner. Jose always does a great job and after for those interested we watched the Grey Cup game played in Vancouver at BC Place Stadium. It was an exciting game at the end and came down to a final play.

Baja Camper's Corner

Happy Hour is Happy!

As our time in Los Cabos was extended we had time to join our friends Rick & Ronnie for dinner at Lattitude 22, home of No Bad Days (well maybe one: Hurricane Odile). We also went for dinner with Peter & Geraldine who live at Cabo Bello. We had the usual excursions – Playa Santa Maria, San Jose Art District – and I met Frank Arnold and partner Carmen who have a Gallery in San Jose del Cabo. Many of the gang were out and about, Chris went diving and organized a boat ride to the Arch, Lover’s and Divorce beaches. Peter and I headed out into the mountains on Peter’s Razor (Side X Side). This adventure included the community of La Candelaria. You would not believe how much water there was in the arroyo.  Our Playa Medano Happy Hour was a great success. As always, we sure had fun.

Baja Camper's Corner

Looks like Dixie may be swimmin’.

Baja Camper's Corner

Sunrise in Los Cabos.

Tomorrow we have an excursion planned to La Paz. The tour continues, with more fun and adventure!

Baja Camper's Corner

Diego Rivera

Did you know?

Diego Rivera was born on December 8, 1886, in Guanajuato, Mexico. When his career began, the main focal point behind his works was to depict the lives of Mexico and its people. In 1921, working with the government, he began work on a series of murals that were located in public buildings. Some of his work was quite controversial; in fact, the Man at the Crossroads, which featured a portrait of Vladmir Lenin, which went up in NYC at the RCA building, was destroyed by the Rockefeller Family. He is today known as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century, and began working and drawing at the age of 10.

His passion for art emerged early on. He began drawing as a child. Around the age of 10, Rivera went to study art at the San Carlos Academy of Fine Arts in Mexico City. One of his early influences was artist José Posada who ran a print shop near Rivera’s school and furthered his education in Europe in 1907; while in Europe, he became friends with several famous artists, including Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, and Piet Mondrian.

DSC08414-300x168

Parked for our visit to Todos Santos.

Famous Muralist

Diego Rivera had some success as a Cubist painter in Europe, but the course of world events would strongly change the style and subject of his work. Inspired by the political ideals of the Mexican Revolution (1914-15) and the Russian Revolution (1917), Rivera wanted to make art that reflected the lives of the working class and native peoples of Mexico. He developed an interest in making murals during a trip to Italy, finding inspiration in the Renaissance frescoes there. Returning to Mexico, Rivera began to express his artistic ideas about Mexico. He received funding from the government to create a series of murals about the country’s people and its history on the walls of public buildings. In 1922, Rivera completed the first of the murals at the Escuela Nacional Preparatoria in Mexico City.

Baja Camper's Corner

Great selection at Afrain’s.

Due to the controversial nature of this, as well as the other works which Diego Rivera created during this illustrious career, he became known as one of the leading artists in the 20th century. Not only in the US, where much of his work was debated, and even destroyed, but around the world. Since he took a worldly view on art, and depicted controversial scenes which depicted different forms of politics, which were not established around the world, many of his art pieces were quite unique, and were distinct in nature from the work which other muralists had done. And the fact that he shared an interest in certain political views, which were not widely accepted around the world, contributed to the distinct style in the murals he created during the course of his career.

Baja Camper's Corner

That was fun, thank you Jose!

Commercial Success

In the 1930s and 40s, Diego Rivera painted several murals in the United States. As mentioned earlier some of his works created controversy, especially the one he did for the Rockefeller family in the RCA building in New York City. The mural, known as “Man at the Crossroads,” featured a portrait of Russian Communist leader Vladimir Lenin. The artist had reportedly included Lenin in his piece to portray the turbulent political atmosphere at the time, which was largely defined by conflicting capitalist and socialist ideologies and escalating fears surrounding the Communist Party. The Rockefellers disliked Rivera’s insertion of Lenin and thus asked Rivera to remove the portrait. The painter refused, and the Rockefellers then had Rivera stop work on the mural.

Baja Camper's Corner

David in the Cerritos Surf.

In 1934, Nelson Rockefeller famously ordered the demolition of “Man at the Crossroads.” Publish backlash against the Rockefellers ensued; after long proclaiming a deep dedication to the arts, the powerful family now looked both hypocritical and tyrannical. John D. Rockefeller Jr. later attempted to explain the destruction of the mural, stating, “The picture was obscene and, in the judgment of Rockefeller Center, an offense to good taste. It was for this reason primarily that Rockefeller Center decided to destroy it.”

Baja Camper's Corner

La Calendaria

Later Life and Work

In the late 1930s, Rivera went through a slow period in terms of work. He had no major mural commissions around this time so he devoted himself to painting other works. While they always had a stormy relationship, Rivera and Frida Kahlo decided to divorce in 1939. But the pair reunited the following year and remarried. The couple hosted Communist exile Leon Trotsky at their home during this period. Rivera returned to murals with one made for the 1940 Golden Gate International Exposition held in San Francisco. In Mexico City, he spent from 1945 to 1951 working on a series of murals known as “From the Pre-Hispanic Civilization to the Conquest.” His last mural was called “Popular History of Mexico.”

DSC08381-300x150

Great spot, eh?

Personal Life and Death

Diego had a twin brother named Carlos, who died two years after they were born. His mother was a Converso, whose ancestors were forced to convert from Judaism to Catholicism. Speaking about himself, Rivera wrote in 1935: “My Jewishness is the dominant element in my life.” Rivera began drawing at the age of three, a year after his twin brother’s death. He had been caught drawing on the walls. His parents, rather than punishing him, installed chalkboards and canvas on the walls.

As an adult, he married Angelina Beloff in 1911, and she gave birth to a son, Diego (1916–1918). Maria Vorobieff-Stebelska gave birth to a daughter named Marika in 1918 or 1919 when Rivera was married to Angelina (according to House on the Bridge: Ten Turbulent Years with Diego Rivera, and Angelina’s memoirs called Memorias). He married his second wife, Guadalupe Marín, in June 1922, with whom he had two daughters: Ruth and Guadalupe. He was still married when he met art student Frida Kahlo. Rivera and Kahlo shared an interest in radical politics and Marxism. They married on August 21, 1929 when he was 42 and she was 22.

Diego Rivera lost his wife, Frida Kahlo, in 1954. The following year, He married Emma Hurtado, his art dealer. By this time, Rivera’s health was in decline and traveled abroad for cancer treatment, but doctors were unable to cure him. Diego Rivera died of heart failure on November 24, 1957, in Mexico City, Mexico.

Diego Rivera is remembered as an important figure in 20th century art. His childhood home is now a museum in Mexico. His life and relationship with Frida Kahlo has been remained a subject of great fascination and speculation. On the big screen, actor Ruben Blades portrayed Rivera in the 1999 movie Cradle Will Rock. Alfred Molina later brought Rivera to life, co-starring with Salma Hayek in the 2002 acclaimed biographical film Frida.

Baja Camper's Corner

Darlene was the first at the bar in the 2014/2015 season!

Whether or not you agree with his political stands, or the relationships he engaged in during his lifetime, the creative manner and approach and the disregard for what people thought about his art distinguishes Diego Rivera as one of the most famous and most renowned artists of his time. Rivera’s philosophy of art and life correspond to no specific dogma. But instead he had an extraordinarily well developed intuitive sense that shaped his understanding of the world and his humanistic understanding of the role of the artist and the role of art in society. His ability to masterfully present universal images and ideas in his art continues to captivate viewers today.

Baja Camper's Corner

This Happy Hour is always fun!

Some of Rivera’s most famous murals are featured at the National School of Agriculture at Chapingo near Texcoco (1925–27), in the Cortés Palace in Cuernavaca (1929–30), and the National Palace in Mexico City (1929–30, 1935).

DSC08303-300x122

Watch for these.

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: December Events in Baja

Fairs, Festivals & Fiestas: December Events in Baja

December in Baja is a time for family-friendly festivities and religious celebrations, as well as sporting events and glamorous galas that in the true spirit of the holiday season often benefit the peninsula’s less fortunate citizens. Of course, visitors seeking the ultimate in glitz and glamor under the Baja stars should explore the dazzling array of year-end events offered by some of the region’s top luxury lodgings.

There are hundreds of local events for everyone that can be found on Baja.com. The following represent some of our favorite selections.

Event dates and details are subject to sudden change and cancellation. Please confirm with the event organizers before booking your trip.

December Events in Baja

Todos Santos: First Friday Art Walk

When:   Dec. 5

The Todos Santos Caminata de Arte (Art Walk) – unlike the weekly version held each Thursday during tourist season in Baja California Sur’s other artistic hotbed, San Jose del Cabo – takes place on the first Friday of every month. The intent is the same, however: to promote and showcase paintings, sculptures and other creative endeavors by area artists. Locals and visitors alike are invited to explore the work on display in the pueblo magico’s top galleries.

Cost: Free admission

December Events in Baja

San Jose del Cabo:  9th Annual Sabor a Cabo

When:  Dec. 6

Following a week of culinary-themed events, the centerpiece of Los Cabos’ largest food and wine festival will take place December 6 in the sculpture garden at Puerto Los Cabos, a luxurious development located just outside San José del Cabo. Over 2,000 guests are expected to attend the final fête, which will feature delicious offerings from dozens of local restaurants, as well as jazz, opera and pop music from a variety of renowned musical guests. All proceeds go to benefit local firefighters.

Cost:  $125 – 160

December Events in Baja

Cabo San Lucas:  9th Annual Dressed to the K9s Gala Christmas Party

When:   Dec. 13

The Los Cabos Humane Society’s Dressed to the K-9s Gala Christmas Party is an annual holiday fundraiser to benefit animals and community services in Los Cabos. This year’s event, to be held on the Vista Skypool level at the Wyndham Cabo San Lucas Resort, will feature “A Night in New York” theme. Entertainment includes a Best of Broadway song and dance number, as well as a stirring Tina Turner tribute from Lisa Monet and the Byron Uribe Dancers will perform a stirring tribute to Tina Turner. A New York City style buffet complete with martinis and more will be provided courtesy of Chef Silviano Orozco and Solomon’s Landing.

Cost:  $110

December Events in Baja

Todos Santos5th Annual Por Que 5k Run/Walk

When:   Dec. 27

The annual 5K run/walk is organized by the Palapa Society of Todos Santos, which donates all proceeds to the Chino Project for local children with major medical needs. In addition to the 5K race, there is also a shorter 1K children’s run, as well as raffle prizes, live music and other fun-filled festivities. Generous sorts are also encouraged to pay additional entry fees, or to donate directly.

Cost: $500 pesos

December Events in Baja

Rosarito:  Rosarito Beach Hotel New Year’s Eve Dinner Celebration

When:  Dec. 31

Each year on Dec. 31, the legendary Rosarito Beach Hotel invites revelers from both sides of the border to ring in the New Year with dinner, drinks, and dancing, as well as a spectacular international show in the hotel’s Salon Mexicano ballroom. Dinner tickets are $49 for children (under 12 years of age) and $89 for adults before Dec. 20; $10 more per person afterwards.

Cost:  $89 – 99 for adults; $49 – 59 for children

December Events in Baja

Cabo San Lucas:  Sammy Hagar Free New Year’s Eve Concert at Cabo Wabo Cantina

When:   Dec. 31

For decades, former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar has been celebrating his birthday with a series of October concerts at Cabo Wabo Cantina in Cabo San Lucas. This year’s “bashes” were moved to Las Vegas due to damages caused by Hurricane Odile, but the Red Rocker is returning to ring in 2015 with a free show on New Year’s Eve. Reservations for admission are first come, first serve via email at webmaster@cabowabocantina.com, and fans are encouraged to support the recovery effort by contributing to Los Cabos Children’s Foundation. Donation boxes will be scattered throughout Cabo Wabo Cantina on the night of the show.

Cost:  Free admission

 

 

 Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: November Events in Baja

Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: November Events in Baja 

As the weather cools down in November, Baja event season heats up, with signature art, food and film festivals scheduled to take place around the peninsula. The month’s most notable event, however, is neither artistic nor culinary in nature, but rather a legendary test of dauntlessness and endurance. The 47th running of the iconic Baja 1000 features a point to point layout, with drivers attempting to conquer Baja’s most trackless terrain, and their vehicle class competitors, in a rugged off-road race from Ensenada to La Paz.

There are hundreds of local events that can be found on Baja.com. The following represent some of our favorite selections.

Event dates and details are subject to sudden change and cancellation. Please confirm with the event organizers before booking your trip.

November Events in Baja

Todos Santos: First Friday Caminata de Arte (Art Walk)

When:  Nov. 7

The recently launched Todos Santos First Friday Caminata de Arte (Art Walk) is a monthly event designed to  promote  the world-class work on display in the pueblo magico’s top fine arts galleries. Locals and visitors alike are welcome to browse downtown shops and studios, and to meet and interact with talented area artists.

Cost:  Free admission

November Events in Baja

San Felipe:  22nd Annual Shrimp Festival

When:  Nov. 7 – 9

San Felipe, AKA the “Gateway to the Sea of Cortez,” is back with its most traditional festival, a three-day showcase for  fruits of the sea – particularly jumbo blue shrimp – on the town’s malecón. Live music will also be featured, and celebrity judges from the Food Network will be part of a panel taste testing the region’s best seafood recipes.

Cost:  Free admission

November Events in Baja

Ensenada:  Tecate SCORE Baja 1000

When:   Nov. 11 – 15

The world’s most legendary off-road race returns for its 47th  running, with intrepid drivers in cars, trucks, motorcycles, buggies and more attempting to triumph over some of Baja’s toughest terrain.  This year’s point to point race clocks in at approximately 1130 miles, from Ensenada to La Paz, and will be followed awards celebration and after party at Malecón Plaza in downtown La Paz.

Cost:  $2,420 – 4,070

 

November Events in Baja

Cabo San Lucas3rd annual Los Cabos International Film Festival

When:  Nov. 12 – 16

The Los Cabos International Film Festival celebrates its third anniversary with a mix of red carpet premieres, A-list parties and programs designed to promote collaboration between the film industries of Canada, México and the U.S. Highlights include a master class with acclaimed Canadian director Atom Egoyan, as well as eagerly anticipated screenings at theaters near the Cabo San Lucas Marina.

Cost:  $70 – 250

November Events in Baja

San Jose del Cabo9th Annual Sabor a Cabo Food & Wine Festival

When:  Nov. 30 – Dec. 6

Los Cabos’ largest culinary festival offers a week of palate pleasing parties– a country food and wine tasting, a sunset Taittinger cruise, a beer fest, a wine and art walk, and celebrity chef “dine around” – leading up to the main event: an enormous food and wine tasting to take place December 6 in the sculpture garden at Puerto Los Cabos, a luxurious development located just outside San José del Cabo.

Cost:  $125 – 160

 

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

 

Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: October Events in Baja

 Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: October Events in Baja 

October is typically one of the busiest event months in Los Cabos, but due to ongoing cleanup and repair efforts following Hurricane Odile, a devastating storm that caused widespread damage throughout Baja California Sur, several of the area’s most highly anticipated upcoming events – including the Cabo Comedy Festival and Sammy Hagar’s Birthday Bash – have been postponed or moved to other locations. Big-game anglers will be heartened to hear, however, that Bisbee’s two signature October fishing tournaments – the Los Cabos Offshore and the Black & Blue – will take place as planned in Cabo San Lucas during the latter half of the month.

October also signals the return of several popular food and beverage fests around the peninsula, most notably the 14th annual Tequila Expo in Tijuana, and the 22nd annual Festival de la Langosta in the charming “lobster village” of Puerto Nuevo.

There are hundreds of local events that can be found on Baja.com. The following represent some of our favorite selections.

Event dates and details are subject to sudden change and cancellation. Please confirm with the event organizers before booking your trip.

 October Events in Baja

Tijuana:  XIV Tequila Expo Tijuana

When:   Oct.  8 – 12

Now an annual tradition in Tijuana, the history and culture of tequila are celebrated with live music and dancing, and of course frequent tastings and samplers of Mexico’s national beverage. The event takes place from 2 – 11 p.m. daily, October 8 – 12 on Avenida Revolucion.

Cost: 75 pesos ($6 U.S.)

Information:  http://baja.com/tijuana/events/xiv-tijuana-tequila-expo/

October Events in Baja

Rosarito Beach:  XXII Puerto Nuevo Lobster Festival 

When:  Oct. 12

This annual crustacean celebration kicks off lobster season (Oct. – Mar.) in Puerto Nuevo, a village famed for its delicious lobster dishes. The festival features plenty of langosta, of course, as well as beer and wine, and live entertainment courtesy of folkloric dancers, mariachis and other musical performers.

Cost:  300 pesos ($24 U.S.)

Information:  http://baja.com/rosarito/events/xxii-puerto-nuevo-lobster-festival/

 October Events in Baja

Cabo San Lucas:  Bisbee’s Los Cabos Offshore Charity Fishing Tournament

When:  Oct. 17 – 19

Affectionately known as “Little Bisbee’s,” the Los Cabos Offshore offers cash prizes and daily jackpots to anglers who reel in the biggest game (tuna and dorado) and billfish (black and blue marlin). Trophies are awarded to the three teams earning the most billfish release points.

Cost:  $1,500 per team

Information:  http://baja.com/cabo-san-lucas/events/bisbees-los-cabos-offshore-charity-fishing-tournament/

October Events in Baja

Cabo San Lucas:  Bisbee’s Black & Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament

When:   Oct. 21 – 25

Often billed as “the world’s richest fishing tournament” – the 2013 event featured $2.9 million in overall prize money – Bisbee’s Black & Blue annually draws big-game fishermen to Baja California Sur to compete for cash prizes, challenges and daily jackpots based on the biggest blue and black marlin caught.

Cost:  $5,000 per team

Information:  http://baja.com/cabo-san-lucas/events/bisbees-black-and-blue-marlin-fishing-tournament/

October Events in Baja

Cabo San Lucas:  XXI Baja Ha-Ha Cruisers Rally

When:  Oct. 26 – Nov. 8

Swag bags, beach parties and 750 miles of sailing headline the attractions of this annual two-week autumn cruisers rally from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, with stops at Bahia Tortugas and Bahia Santa Maria.  All boats must be at least 27′ and maintained for open ocean sailing, with a minimum of two crew members.

Cost:  $375 per boat

Information:  http://baja.com/cabo-san-lucas/events/xxi-baja-ha-ha-cruisers-rally/

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: September Events in Baja

Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: September Events in Baja

September’s biggest event isn’t just celebrated in Baja California, but across the nation. México’s Independence Day is honored annually on September 16th, but reenactments and parades in remembrance of Miguel Hidalgo’s 1810 Grito de Dolores—a call for revolution that culminated 11 years later with México’s independence from Spain—are celebrated on both the 15th and 16th, and numerous other patriotic celebrations, or las fiestas patrias, take place throughout the month.

Visitors interested in viewing traditional Independence Day observances will find a similar schedule of events in towns and cities around the peninsula, from Tijuana to Los Cabos: a grito reenactment by public officials at 11 p.m. on September 15th,  highlighted  by Hidalgo’s famous rallying cry—which ends with ¡Viva México! ¡Viva México! ¡Viva México!—followed by community celebrations featuring food, drinks, live music and festive firework celebrations. Parades typically take place the next morning, on Independence Day itself.

September also sees the return of one of Baja’s most popular outdoor activities, the biannual Rosarito to Ensenada Fun Bicycle Ride. Pedalling the 50 mile distance in under six hours requires a bit of effort, particularly given the warm seasonal temperatures, but hardy participants are amply rewarded with gorgeous views en route, as well as food, drinks and entertainment at the aptly named Finish Line Fiesta on the Ensenada waterfront.

There are hundreds of local events that can be found on Baja.com. The following represent some of our favorite selections.

 

September Events in Baja

Los Cabos:  Mexican Independence Day

When:   Sept.  15 – 16

México’s version of the 4th of July, El Día de la Independencia, is celebrated in Los Cabos much as it is in other communities across the country. Grito reenactments are performed by public officials in both cape cities, Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo, at 11 p.m.  on the 15th, followed by drinking, dancing and fireworks. Each of the cape cities also hosts an Independence Day Parade.

Cost:   Free admission

Information:  http://baja.com/cabo-san-lucas/events/mexican-independence-day/

September Events in Baja

Ensenada35th Anniversary Rosarito to Ensenada 50 Mile Fun Bicycle Ride

When:  Sept. 27

Dubbed “The Original Party on Wheels,” the 50 mile fun ride started in 1979, when a group of friends pedaled from Rosarito to Ensenada on a lark. Now a biannual event, the scenic rides are among the highlights of the regional social calendar, and conclude with a Finish Line Fiesta featuring food, drinks, souvenirs, live music, and massages for participants.

Cost:  $42

Information:  http://baja.com/ensenada/events/35th-anniversary-rosarito-to-ensenada-50-mile-fun-bicycle-ride-2/

September Events in Baja

Rosarito:  Viking  5K Obstacle Race

When:   Sept. 28

Even the rugged Norse raiders of old would struggle to finish this 5K race, which ratchets ups the difficulty level with 30 obstacles, each designed to test athletic traits such as stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, and agility.

Cost:  $25 – $35

Information:  http://baja.com/rosarito/events/viking-5k-obstacle-race/

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

2014 Latin Food Fest: Buen Provecho San Diego!

2014 Latin Food Fest: Buen Provecho San Diego! 

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA –  Last year, San Diego played host to the inaugural ¡LATIN FOOD FEST! which featured the world’s best chefs and vintners and the region’s top restaurants. This year marks the second for the event and promises to be even more delicious. Over 7,000 guests are expected to attend this culinary weekend celebrating Latin food, wine, and culture. A span of seven events over three days will include everything from cocktail parties to celebrity cooking stages, an experience sure to please all palates. Proceeds from a silent auction held during the event will benefit Feeding America San Diego.

Latin Food Fest

2014 Latin Food Fest, Embarcadero Marina Park, San Diego, California

The event will take place on September 11-13 at the San Diego Embarcadero Marine Park and will feature Latin culinary delights, wines, cocktails, chefs, music and more. And if you’ve been following El Gringo as of late through the Valle de Guadalupe, you know how much I love the wine there! Amado Garza of Viñas de Garza recently stated, “For a few years now Guadalupe Valley wines have been very popular within the Mexican community and this year with the help of our friends from ¡LATIN FOOD FEST! we will be crossing over our concepts and introducing them to a new market.” Cava Aragon 126 owner, Victor Segura, added, “We are so thrilled to have an opportunity to participate in this year’s ¡LATIN FOOD FEST! and show the San Diego community a little taste of what our beloved Baja has to offer.” In addition to Baja wines, over 100 varietals from all over Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain and Portugal will be represented.

Latin Food Fest

Attendees sample various wines from the Valle de Guadalupe in the “Taste Baja” pavilion at the 2013 event.

El Gringo sat down recently over tequila with Richie Matthews, the organizer of ¡LATIN FOOD FEST!. Richie enthused, “Last year, the Baja wines were very successful and introduced a lot of people to what’s happening in Mexico. This year, we want to put more focus on spirits, and will include tastings of Bacanora, Pisco, Mezcal, Raicilla, Rum, Sotol, and Tequila at the Spirits of the Americas Expo.” Richie also emphasized that this year, the festival will be the largest Latin food, wine and spirits event in the US. Salud!

Latin Food Fest

What’s in your Paloma Cocktail? Squirt is the official provider this year and mixed with tequila, rocks and lime.

The Grand Tasting Village, presented by The Lincoln Motor Company, will take place on September 13 at the Embarcadero and will feature 100 tasting tents, cooking demonstrations, a live music stage, book signings and thematic brand hosted pavilions. El Gringo will be on hand personally for this event and I look forward to trying a little bit of the best Latin America has to offer, right here in my backyard (for a change)!

Latin Food Fest

Thinly sliced jamon is a staple around many parts of Latin America. And ready for tasting at the 2014 Latin Food Fest.

Join El Gringo there and see what the Latin America cuisine craze is all about first-hand. Your tastebuds will say GRACIAS!

When: September 11-13
Where: 
Embarcadero Marina Park North
What: 
¡LATIN FOOD FEST!, the largest Latin food festival in California

More information and tickets for the “Grand Tasting Village” at visit www.latinfoodfest.com. Join the festival’s Facebook page at: facebook.com/latinfoodfest.

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: August Events in Baja

Don’t let the dog days get you down. The month of August brings some of the peninsula’s biggest events, most notably the Fiestas de la Vendimia, or harvest festival, in Baja California’s wine country. This annual viticultural celebration features wine tastings, dinners, and concerts centered around Ensenada and Valle de Guadalupe, with affiliated events in Rosarito Beach, Tijuana, Tecate and Mexicali. Rosarito Beach is also home to another signature August bash, The Baja Blues Fest, an outdoor showcase highlighted by live performances from some of the biggest names on the contemporary blues scene.

There are hundreds of local events that can be found on Baja.com. The following represent some of our favorite selections.

Event dates and details are subject to sudden change and cancellation. Please confirm with the event organizers before booking your trip.

August Events in Baja

Ensenada: Fiestas de la Vendimia

When:  Aug. 1 – 17

Fiestas de la Vendimia are a series of annual events celebrating the grape harvest in Baja California’s wine country, capped by the traditional Concurso de Paellas (paella contest) at the winery Viña de Linceaga in Valle de Guadalupe. The food and wine fêtes are organized by Provino, a committee dedicated to promoting the region’s wines, and primarily take place along the Ruta del Vino.

Cost: $30 – 120, depending upon the event

August Events in Baja

Buenavista:  Bisbee’s East Cape Offshore

When: Aug. 5 – 9

Bisbee’s kicks off its 2014 tournament season with the East Cape Offshore, in which anglers compete to bring in the biggest tuna, dorado, and black and blue marlin. It’s the perfect warm-up for Bisbee’s flagship event, the Black and Blue, held each October in Cabo San Lucas. Billed as the world’s richest fishing tournaments –  the Black and Blue features multi-million dollar payouts – Bisbee’s Baja-based competitions are the gold standard for serious anglers.

Cost: $1500 per team

August Events in Baja

Tijuana:  10th Annual TJ Beer Fest

When: Aug. 15 – 16

Tijuana is ground zero for Baja’s craft brew scene, and the 10th annual TJ Beer Fest offers visitors a chance to sample over 200 local and regional specialties from some of the peninsula’s best beer makers. In addition to the superb suds, the brew fest will feature live music from over two dozen bands, and tasty cuisine from both sides of the border.

Cost:  $8

August Events in Baja

Tijuana:  XXXIII Feria del Platillo Mexicano

When: Aug. 17

CANIRAC, the local restaurant association, sponsors this fair celebrating Mexican history and culture, with traditional dishes showcasing regional cuisine from around the country, work from local artists and craftsmen, and live music. Attendance at last year’s event topped 4,000, and similar crowds are expected this year.

Cost: free admission

August Events in Baja

Rosarito Beach:  3rd Annual Baja Blues Fest

When: Aug. 22 – 24

Kid Ramos and The Mannish Boys headlines the list of performers at the 3rd annual Baja Blues Fest at the Rosarito Beach Hotel. The weekend centerpiece is an all-day, outdoor blues bash on Saturday, August 23, with live music, local artists and food vendors, and raffle prizes that include a trip to Baja’s wine country, Valle de Guadalupe.

Cost:  $10 – 35

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: July Events in Baja California

Fairs, Festivals and Fiestas: July Events in Baja California

Summer is the slow season in Baja California, and the time of year when the event focus traditionally shifts from cultural festivities to water-based activities like fishing, surfing, and diving (with visibility increasing as water temperatures rise). Many of the premier summer events are in fact fishing tournaments, and Los Barriles is home to July’s top sporting competition, the 10th annual East Cape Dorado Shoot Out, with over $125,000 in cash and prizes on the line as teams vie to bring in the biggest dorado (known in some regions of the U.S. as mahi mahi or dolphinfish).

July Events in Baja California

Cabo San Lucas luxury resort Capella Pedregal will host its 3rd annual Food and Wine Festival July 9 – 13, 2014.

A few cultural and food and wine festivals are on tap this month, however, including the 3rd annual Capella Pedregal Food and Wine Festival. The Cabo San Lucas luxury resort is bringing in some big name U.S. chefs, and will feature first-class wines from Napa and Guadalupe Valleys, as well as hand-crafted prohibition era cocktails from one of the top mixologists in New York City.

No official dates have been set as yet for the 8th annual Pitahayas Festival in Miraflores – the schedule is dependent on when the cactus fruit is at its ripest – but July visitors to Baja California Sur should keep an eye out for this traditional three-day celebration, which showcases eating, drinking, dancing, and the crowning of the queen of the festival. The star of the show is the antioxidant rich fruit that many consider the secret to the notable longevity of residents of this small town, which is located near Santiago, about an hour’s drive north of San Jose del Cabo.

There are hundreds of local events that can be found on Baja.com. The following represent some of our favorite selections.

Event dates and details are subject to sudden change and cancellation. Please confirm with the event organizers before booking your trip.

July Events in Baja California

Cabo San Lucas:  3rd Annual Capella Pedregal Food and Wine Festival

When:  July 9 – 13

For the third consecutive year, Cabo San Lucas’ most exclusive resort is offering a four-day celebration of food and wine, with a cocktail reception, tequila seminar, wine and cheese tastings, cooking and cocktail demonstrations, and a five-course meal prepared by a celebrated cast of chefs that include Kent Rathburn of Dallas’ Abacus and Jasper, and Peruvian born Ricardo Zarate, founder of the chic L.A. eateries Mo-chica and Picca.

Cost:  Cost varies according to accommodations options.

July Events in Baja California

Los Barriles:  10th Annual East Cape Dorado Shoot Out

When: July 17 – 19

The rules are simple for the 10th annual East Cape Dorado Shoot Out in Los Barriles: catch the heaviest dorado on July 19, 2014, and your team walks away with brand new, fully loaded 4×4 pickup truck. Registration begins at 3 p.m. on July 17 at the Hotel Palmas de Cortez. The hotel also hosts the post-tournament awards ceremony—with dinner, music, and over $20,000 in raffle items—scheduled for 7 p.m. on July 19th.

Cost: $500 per team

July Events in Baja California

Cabo San Lucas:  Champagne World Tour at Nikki Beach

When: July 19

Looking to beat the summer heat in high Cabo style? After stops in Miami and St. Tropez, the season’s coolest event arrives poolside at ME Cabo near the southernmost tip of the Baja California peninsula. Pop a few corks and enjoy all the poolside action at Nikki Beach in Cabo San Lucas on July 19, 2014, with hip DJs and gorgeous views of Land’s End and El Arco.

Cost:  $88 -290

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.