A Hidden Castle in Los Cabos: Sea of Cortez Luxury Get-Away

There is a hidden castle in Los Cabos: A Sea of Cortez luxury get-away!

by Chris Sands

 

A Hidden Castle in Los Cabos: Sea of Cortez Luxury Get-Away

There is a hidden castle in Los Cabos. It’s located just a few minutes outside San Jose del Cabo, and showcases many of the features you would expect in such an exalted structure: heavy wooden gates, stone turrets, archways, and hand-crafted furnishings. It also has a few features you might not expect, like the Infinity pool, elevated Jacuzzi, and spectacular Sea of Cortez views. An artful architectural blend of Moorish castle, Mediterranean villa, and Spanish hacienda, Castillo Escondido is one of the most singularly impressive vacation rentals in all of Baja, an exclusive beachfront property where guests can live like visiting royalty.

At over 4,500 square feet and spread across four levels, Castillo Escondido offers expansive and luxurious accommodations for up to eight adults and two children. The castle’s design is one of its most remarkable features, with ocean views available from all four suites, as well as the gourmet kitchen. Outdoor areas receive plenty of shade courtesy of the Mission tile roofing and the palapa-topped lounge area, while sun seekers can frolic in the pool, relax on one of the chaise lounges, or take a barefoot stroll along the golden sand beach.

 

View from the entrance of the hidden castle in Los Cabos

 

All the suites feature king-sized beds, as well as exquisite decor. The master suite is a study in sensuous pleasures, with a fireplace, private terrace, sybaritic shower area, and a layout so perfectly conceived that guests can occasionally see whales breaching just offshore while still in bed. All the suites have a theme, and the Zen, Safari, and Tropical Suites each have their own flawlessly appointed theme-appropriate decor, as well as their own spectacular ocean views. Each of the suites is situated so as to ensure maximum privacy, and is outfitted with luxurious linens and robes. Private terraces, pampering bath fixtures, and iPod docks are also available in all suites.

From marble columns to travertine floors, everything at Castillo Escondido is first-class. The lavish amenities at this unique East Cape property include a gourmet kitchen with marble countertops, two refrigerators, wine storage, and a Viking stove. The greatroom features an entertainment center anchored by an enormous plasma screen television, and other common areas include the pergola-shaded dining area, the palapa-topped lounge, and a fire-pit set just off the beach, with comfortable booth seating from which to enjoy the tropical nighttime sky, the glimmer of far off stars, and meditative whisper of gently lapping waves.

 

Your suite at the hidden castle in Los Cabos, on the Sea of Cortez

 

Internet access and air-conditioning are provided, as is daily maid service, with concierge services available from onsite property managers Mike Walker and Judy Gibson, who are happy to arrange everything from activities to grocery delivery. The castle is located right on the beach at La Laguna, where golf and other activities, from fishing and horseback riding to sailing and surfing, are mere minutes away.

EXCLUSIVE FOR BOOKINGS THROUGH BAJA.COM!
Baja.com readers who book their stay through Baja.com — this is a fabulous offer!  Castillo Escondido wants to treat you like royalty:  With a booking of a suite through Baja.com at this luxury retreat, Castillo Escondido will provide a private chef to create a sumptuous feast for your booked group.  Attire?  Whatever you want it to be at this castle by the sea.  

Want to discover your own hidden castle in Los Cabos?  Call Baja.com for more information!

 

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 restaurants, hotels 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

 

 

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San Jose del Cabo Art Walk: 2012-2013 Season Kicks Off

San Jose del Cabo Art Walk:  2012-2013 Season Kicks Off

by Yesica Pineda

2012 is the year when all awareness seems to be focused on our Mayan calendar. For those of you who wonder why, the Mayan calendar, which is the most exact calendar of all calendars known to humanity, starts a new cycle December 21st, 2012. Scholars and scientists, wizards and shamans are observing our cosmic alignments very closely in hope that all interpretations the present know about a new cycle in time is only but a doorway to a deeper awareness and a enlightened collective consciousness.

I thought this a perfect introduction, for it is said that Mayans, in their highest golden era of evolution (that means when their culture was the most peaceful and harmonious) honored a simple formula to everyday life: Energy + Time = Art.

In San Jose del Cabo, we honor this principle with great enthusiasm with our famous San Jose del Cabo Art Walk.  Walking in itself is an art of living; now imagine combining this with viewing art, sipping wine and dining at the fabulous neighborhood restaurants.

San Jose del Cabo is a charming town at Baja California Peninsula land’s end where a romantic renaissance movement defining San Jose del Cabo as an artsy town where time and space stop and merge has blossomed.

San Jose del Cabo Art Walk Kicks off! Photo courtesy of Prisma Lara

All galleries open their doors to visitors, inviting tourists and locals to mix in a relaxed and creative atmosphere.

Galleries like The Los Cabos Amber Gallery, where you can find one-of-a-kind jewelry and sculptures made from 22-25 million-year-old, 100 percent natural, untreated Chiapas Mexican amber; authentic Mexican artesanias; Mexican Folk Art; award-winning Mexican and international artists; paintings, sculptures, photography and prints. Galleries where you can interact with original art (life castings), admire genuine pottery and ceramic art, Mata Ortiz pottery, Zimbabwe’s sculptors, enjoy contemporary Mexican artists known nationally and internationally in important collections and museums; and places where to find Blacksmith Art and Restoration. Casa Dahlia is having 6 shows over the season highlighting the latest work by our own artists such as Antonio Farina, Antonio Viveros, Patricia Larsen, Luis Espiridion, Dinorah Dominguez, Leah Porter, and Sondra Richardson.

Photo courtesy of Prisma Lara

The Art Walk is starting one week early, October 25, but the big festivities will begin November 1 for Dia de los Muertos. As in the past years, each gallery will have altars and decorations, and live music and dancing in the street in conjunction with the town’s celebration which includes more of the same. Despite the construction happening on Morelos Street, we plan to carry on as usual. As a side note, they promise us to complete the construction the end of January. November 1st is something you don’t want to miss if you are to get closer to mystic Mexican culture.

The San Jose del Cabo Art Walk is a beautiful celebration of the simple art of living. Moment by moment, breath by breath…artist by artist,  fill your heart with enthusiasm for the beauty of things. Elevate your state of mind with the rewarding joy that creativity gives to the admirer.  Why not stay a few days and walk the town?

November through June, from 5:00 to 9:00, every Thursday.

Have you been to previous Art Walks in San Jose del Cabo?  What was your favorite part?  And where are you going to stay or dine if your go this year?  Let us know!

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 restaurants, hotels 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.

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Day of the Dead: Día de los Muertos, a Personal View

by Yesica Pineda

Writer Yesica Pineda takes a personal look at Day of the DeadDía de los Muertos.  Celebrate with her.

 

Dia de los Muertos: Day of the Dead. A poignant time of celebration.

“Rest in Peace.” How would you like to be celebrated once you are dead? Personally, I want people to be happy when they think of me. Maybe because I myself grew up in a family that celebrates the death with joy, or maybe because, as a Mexican girl, I identify with a way of living that honors death as a way to remember how to honor life. After all, Mexico is known around the world for its beautiful celebrations on November 1-2, Day of the Dead:  Día de los Muertos. It is tradition to create an altar where our Dead’s favorite food and drinks are placed, with the idea that the dead will come and celebrate with the living. During this time, Mexico is filled with multidimensional energy — a unity that is represented through art and music and some pageantry. San Jose del Cabo is no exception:  Festivals and art exhibits color the town.

This year our authentic Art District launches the Art Walk with this festivities. Each gallery will have altars and decorations, live music and dancing in the street in conjunction with the town’s celebration which presents Día de Muertos Festival. One of my favorite Mexican traditions related to the Day of the Dead is what we know as “calaveras.” The calaveras are laconic epitaphs written in verse and dedicated to friends and others only on the Day of the Dead. What makes them such a great tradition is once a year, everybody is free to express what they think about each other without fear, because everyone expects it to be a truthful and humorous observation. Because people don’t find it easy to speak their minds about each other, the calaveras are considered a type of brave literature. It dates back to the XIX century. The writer must see death with a good sense of humor, write it in verse (octaves or tenths), the rest is freestyle. Here is my calavera for this year! To my father:

Este poeta y trovador

valiente siempre y soñador

esta vez por ser valiente

se quedó soñando en muerte.

A traditional altar for Día de los Muertos: Day of the Dead

Where do you want to stay in San Jose del Cabo to experience authentic celebrations?
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.
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Gaia: Life Awareness in Baja

By Yesica Pineda

A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.  — Lao Tzu

Gaia in Greek mythology was the mother of all. We used it to call to the Earth. So in the present, when we see the name Gaia, we think of our mother Earth–She,who provides our life needs. Which is exactly what Gaia, the store and workshop, offers to us, right here in San Jose del Cabo.  Gaia:  Life Awareness in Baja…

Gaia ~ Store and Workshop ~ is a Baja land experience; one that awakens us to a real-earth consciousness.  It is a food store which makes available healthy and organic sustainable foods that are not genetically modified and are created without chemicals or additives.  This is clean and living food like nuts, seeds, grains, spices, alternative flours, vinegars, oils, alternative pastas, breads, crackers, fresh goat milk, yogurt, and cheese, soy yogurt, agave syrup, honey, stevia, turbinado sugar, seed crackers, sprouted cereals, seed and nut milks, fresh  juices, fresh vegetables in season, a natural personal care line, and so forth.  They are the things that are really needed to sustain and nurture.

Located at the Montessori school, Educarte,  in San Jose del Cabo, this space hosts community workshops in the afternoons and evening, that focus on sustainability and permaculture,  healthy, vegan and raw nutrition,  and holistic wellness.

“I realized how passionate I was to be able to share shifts in nutrition, permaculture and  sustainability awareness. Helpful skills so that we can all be healthy and autonomous in our care for the planet, lives, food choices,” says Kim Clapham, the owner.

How to Get There: Gaia ~ Store and Workshop ~  address is PADRE MANUEL GARCIA 1339 COL: MAURICIO CASTRO C.P. 23443 SAN JOSE DEL CABO, BAJA CALIFORNIA SUR.

What to expect at Gaia: An organic food store and a Urban Garden that offers workshops that teach how to cultivate food in your own home and how to prepare and cook healthy dishes.

Have you been to Gaia?  What did you think?  Share your comments and experiences with us below.

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 restaurants, hotels 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.

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Tadd Chapman’s Don Sanchez: Signature San Jose del Cabo Restaurant Gets a Major Makeover

by Chris Sands

Since moving to Los Cabos fourteen years ago, chef and restaurateur Tadd Chapman has been one of key figures in San Jose del Cabo’s ever-evolving dining scene, responsible for signature fine dining spots like Habanero’s Gastro Grill and Tequila Bar, and Don Sanchez Cantina Restaurante. Chapman is currently making another ambitious move, undertaking a sweeping renovation of the extensive space situated below the current incarnation of Don Sanchez. The upgraded version of this popular dinner destination will include a wine bar, tapas lounge, outdoor grill, and an expansive palapa-shaded courtyard dining area complete with live entertainment and a stage-front dance floor.

A three-dimensional illustration of the soon-to-be-completed courtyard dining area at Don Sanchez.

The new-look Don Sanchez will be a sensory pleasure palace that conjures the halcyon days of supper clubs and cafe society, when an evening out wasn’t just about a meal, but an experience. From a sweeping spiral staircase, perfect for dramatic courtyard entrances, to stone Cantera-tiled floors that harken back to Mexico’s colonial past, the harmonized, detail-oriented design elements will provide the restaurant with a classic, yet thoroughly contemporary atmosphere.

Chapman specializes in “Baja Contemporary” cuisine, therefore it is not at all surprising that the restaurant will feature not only a superb selection of steaks and local seafood delicacies – all accented with traditional Mexican ingredients –  but a small-plate tapas lounge situated above the courtyard dining area. Dinner will, of course, be the main focus at Don Sanchez…but this atmospheric and wine-friendly eatery will also be perfectly conducive to extended lunching. Live music will be a staple here, as well.  Among other performers, there will be the eight-piece Cuban orchestra currently performing at Don Sanchez, that attempts to draw guests onto the dance floor.

An oenophile’s paradise: The exposed cellar and wine bar that will greet visitors to Don Sanchez.

A devoted wine lover, Chapman is committed to outfitting the upgraded Don Sanchez with a state-of-the-art wine bar and exposed cellar area, stocked with a large and well-balanced selection of bottles from producers around the world.  Don Sanchez will feature affordable prices and offer modest corkage fees. Sommeliers will be on hand to assist guests with wine selections, and if you fall in love with your dinner wine, or want some Champagne to share back at the suite, carry-out sales are permissible until 11 p.m.. Premium tequila selections will also be available.

As Don Sanchez transitions to its new location, the current upstairs dining area will also undergo a transformation, becoming a sports bar and comfort-food restaurant known as Retro. The revamped Retro will boast a new design and decor evoking the popular culture of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, complete with vintage arcade games like Pac-Man. Retro will be a great place to enjoy burgers and beers, and the perfect spot to catch up on all the latest American, Canadian, and Mexican sporting events.

For visitors to San Jose del Cabo, Don Sanchez is located on Boulevard Mijares, a short walk from City Hall and the town square. The renovations are scheduled to be completed by October 15th, with a series of open houses slated to accompany the the opening of the expanded wining and dining facilities. The upstairs changeover to Retro will occur during late October and early November.  For information and updates on upcoming events, visit the restaurant’s website, their Facebook page, or call (624) 142-2444.

Imagining the classical features and colorful accents of the completed courtyard patio area.

 

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 restaurants, hotels 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.
All photos courtesy of Don Sanchez Cantina Restaurante.

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Finding the Perfect Restaurant in San Jose del Cabo

by Yesica Pineda

Perfection is always relative to the eye of the beholder; it is interdependent with the moment at hand, and the moment at hand is always changing.

Chef Tadd Chapman's Chicken Voodoo

Thus, let us just say that perfection is recognized by a sensation of happiness. Also, in Mexico we have an adage that says: Estomago lleno, corazon contento. This translates as: in a full stomach, a happy heart.

Restaurants in San Jose del Cabo are as international as the world; your experience can go from the most native taste at El Mercado de San Jose to your international cuisine of preference: Mexican, Thai, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, American. Nonetheless, what makes San Jose del Cabo culinary culture a gourmet experience is the use of local ingredients and concepts with international flavors.

Our locally renowned Chef F. Tadd Chapman has coined the term “Mexican Fusion” Cuisine to best describe this mix. In 2010 Tadd was voted “Best Chef in Los Cabos” by the general public in the Cabo Social “Best of Cabo Awards.” In summer of 2012, the prestigious Mexico Traveller Magazine featured Tadd along with 2 others as the top Celebrity chefs of Mexico. Canadian Chef F. Tadd Chapman and his restaurants, Habaneros Gastro Grill and Don Sanchez, have become important pieces in the Los Cabos dining and social scene. When in San Jose, I make sure to always eat at his restaurants at least once.

To help you in your quest for the perfect Restaurant, he has provided us with an excellent description of our gastronomic tradition in Los Cabos:

Los Cabos, Mexico is well recognized in the world for its rich gastronomic tradition that offers a great variety of dishes and beverages prepared with innumerable ingredients. The taste, aroma and texture of these ingredients can charm even the most demanding palate and thus turns Los Cabos into one of the most important destinations in the North American Hemisphere offering eclectic international cuisines.

The Mexican cuisine has drawn from its pre-Hispanic origin various culinary techniques, which are still in use to this day at a variety of restaurants in the Los Cabos area. When the conquerors came and founded the Spanish Colony in Mexico, the native ingredients and techniques fused with the ones from the Old World, Asia and Africa. This gave birth to various exquisite dishes that currently represent traditional Mexican cuisine like mole, chiles en nogada, pozole and a whole range of salsas, beverages and desserts.

Many of the ingredients that are nowadays widely used all over the world were initially “domesticated” in Mexico during the pre-Hispanic era. These gifts that Mexico has given to the rest of the world include corn, Quinoa, different kinds of chilies and vanilla, which gives taste and perfume for many sweet and salty dishes. What should not be excluded from the list either is the tomato, which originally came from Mexico and has become appreciated most world cuisines.

Like all arts, the culinary art is developing continuously in Los Cabos. During the past years, a variety of chefs locally have experimented with different techniques and ingredients from other parts of the world and have managed to fuse them with the Mexican flavors. The result of this is a unique trip of savors and sensations in the world of Mexican contemporary cuisine that can be enjoyed in various recognized restaurants all over the destination. In these restaurants the never-ending creativity of the chefs and their unique flavors season the original dishes, which are capable of satisfying and surprising even the most demanding palate.

In Chef Tadd Chapman’s own words: “The best food, or best dish is in the eye of the consumer, because what is great for one my not be so good for the next. I have always tried to work with foods that my guests can understand and recognize all the while presenting it in a new and interesting form while still appealing to a wide range of diners. For the most part, I tend to stay away from the ‘shock and awe’ cuisine of un-natural foods.”

Good luck in your quest! Certainly, we at Baja.com would love to hear about your experience of the perfect restaurant.

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 restaurants, hotels 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.

 

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Tamarindos – A Baja-Style Cooking Class in San Jose del Cabo

By Jim Pickell

“Choose your own garlic, basil, sage, rosemary, zucchini, tomatoes, arugula, zucchini blossoms, leeks, eggplants, radicchio, poblano peppers, pumpkin squash, cactus, lettuce… Get your hands dirty,” we are told at Enrique Silva’s School at the Los Tamarindos Organic Farm.

You feel like you are sitting in your salad bowl

The crops offer up an abundance of rich colors and flavors, growing in a desert landscape that is softened by the hint of a Mediterranean climate. With only the use of natural pest repellents including garlic, pepper and soap, and employing some of the most advanced irrigation techniques in the world, the land grows food that sustains, as we recently learned in our first cooking class in Baja. By understanding Baja’s weather, agriculture and culture, you start to understand why Baja cuisine has finally received the international acclaim that has been so long overdue.

My wife and I participated in the Cabo Celebrity Invitational event some weeks ago, a fundraising event organized by Dream Homes of Cabo to benefit children’s charities and to showcase the Baja lifestyle. Besides golf, volleyball, yacht cruises, massages, kayaking and cocktail parties, there were also culinary classes.  This gave us the chance to meet some interesting people, work side-by-side with one of the regions top chefs, and bring home a new recipe and skill-set. That’s what attracted us. We joined an intimate class of eight with at least four countries represented, at the new school, the Huerta Los Tamarindos. We were provided a pre-selected menu when we showed up:

Menu

Zucchini Soup
Baked Eggplant with Tomato Sauce
Fish with Achiote and Green Rice
Dulce de Calabaza

Simple Fresh Ingredients Make for Great Food

Huerta Los Tamarindos is at restaurateur/Chef Enrique Silva’s 100 percent Certified Organic Farm. The farm and its adjoining country-style restaurant are in Animas Bajas, about 10 minutes from San Jose. Trained as an agricultural engineer, Chef Silva orchestrates culinary operations at his famous Tequila restaurant (which many locals argue is the best in the area), and he grows his own organic produce. His interest in agrotourism was motivation enough to restore the restaurant’s beautiful brick structure, built in 1888, and establish his cooking school there.  The project is the beginning manifestation of his vision to build six bungalows in the coming year for his visitors to enjoy a one of a kind organic lifestyle experience.

We began our class with a tour of the fields under cultivation, where we learned about the agricultural techniques and the crops, and harvested our ingredients. Then we headed up to the ranch house, washed our hands and gathered around the kitchen to chat with Silva in a comfortable country setting. After hearing a little about his curriculum, we moved on to an in-depth discussion of each recipe that we were about to  prepare, learning more about techniques and procedures that would be used. We had many opportunities to ask questions, and we got to taste and smell each of the ingredients we used, as we cooked.

Once the full menu of recipes was completed, we moved to the sunny outdoor kitchen.  There,  we sat at a long picnic table with our instructor, leisurely sampling each of the recipes we had learned how to prepare, and accompanying the dishes with an appropriate wine or, my personal favorite, a Tamarindo Margarita. In the warmth of the sun and surrounded by gardens of organic vegetables and fragrant herbs, we felt like we were sitting in nature’s salad bowl. Each plate was freshly unique…the “Dulce de Calabaza,” with cinnamon and sugar cane infused squash, was unlike any dessert I had tasted before. While it was sweet as any dessert we’ve had, we knew we had our daily dosage of veggies. Next time, I will be the first to order squash for desert!

The Chef and the Maestro

Chef Silva may have held back a few secrets, but we both went home  better cooks as result of the class. Now, we  are looking forward even more to experiencing his cooking at his restaurant Tequila.  Classes at Huerta Los Tamarindos start at $85 for four hours. I cannot guarantee you will have the identical experience as my wife and I did, but I can assure you that you will enjoy your creation!

Being a great chef doesn’t always translate to being a great teacher. We found Enrique to be both. He navigated Spanish and English with ease and made everyone feel at home. Classes start at $85 for four hours. It was a small price to pay to learn to make a great meal and meet some interesting people. Here’s a recipe from one of the highlights for us.

 

RECIPE – DULCE DE CALBAZA

INGREDIENTS
1 pz Piloncillo (sugar cane)
1 pz cinnamon
2 pounds of squash
3 lts water

Method: Boil the water with cinnamon and piloncillo. Add the squash cut in medium size (about 4”) and leave it until soft (about 2 hours).

Buen Provecho!

Here’s a short video where you can get a better sense of the property and excitement around this project.

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 restaurants, hotels 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.

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Alta Cocina Mexicana: Five Ways to Experience San Jose del Cabo Gourmet Cuisine

By Yesica “Yeye” Pineda

Image by Angel Carbajal de Nick San

Food that nourishes the body also nourishes mind and spirit. Pay close attention: food not only affects your health at the physical level, but science and meditation both confirm that food is directly linked to your mood and the quality of your thoughts.   “We are what we eat” is not just an old adage, but a true natural law that proves itself every time we bring something to our mouth and ingest it. Keep this in mind when you travel to San Jose del Cabo.

San José del Cabo is known for its culinary trend called alta cocina mexicana, gourmet creations of traditional Mexican dishes. Rich in organic produce and ancient mexican food culture, chefs around the world find in San José del Cabo an inspiring creative environment for their practice.

A good chef knows that combining, preparing, and cooking  food is not only a matter of good taste, but also a matter of well-being. A dish can taste delicious but make you feel sick afterwards, drain your energy or leave you in a dull state of mind; so always seek food that will have positive effects on your body.

Here are five ways you can experience San Jose del Cabo Gourmet Cuisine:

  1. Go to the Restaurants

Chef Jacobo Turquie

Mexican chef Jacobo Turquie, who owns La Panga Antigua in San Jose del Cabo, has lived here the last 14 years. His restaurant has been awarded the “Excelsis Award” by Global Quality Foundation and has appeared in magazines such as Food Arts, Vanity Fair, Concierge.com, Chicago Tribune, Savoir French American, Northwest Airlines World Travel, Palm Springs Life, México for Beginners, Baja Traveler, la Guía de Restaurantes, and Estilos Gastronómicos.

As a chef, his curriculum speaks for itself as a graduate of the Culinary Institute in America in New York.  Today, Jacobo is not only the Municipal Director of Tourism in Los Cabos, but his role as President for the Baja California Sur Chefs Association has brought San Jose del Cabo into the spotlight as an epicenter of Baja culinary paradise. Every year, under a full moon by the ocean, he and his team at CANIRAC service more than 1,000 people in our Historic Center, marking  San Jose del Cabo as an original gastronomic international destination.

Jacobo’s favorite restaurants in San Jose del Cabo are Casiano´s, Nick San, Market, Agua, The Restaurant, Flora Field Kitchen and of course La Panga Antigua.  He reminds us all that most of the restaurants in San Jose del Cabo use local ingredients, organic produce and seafood from Mar de Cortez and the Pacific Ocean, so he recommends that regardless of which restaurant you choose, try any dish that uses produce of the region.

2. Experience a private chef

Many Baja travelers choose the Villa experience; a Vacation Rental Home for your stay is an excellent option and it is very likely that you will be offered the opportunity to enjoy a private chef. If that is not the case, do not hesitate to ask for the service. Our town priority is your happiness. Even better, we at baja.com will take care of it for you.

In case your Villa or Hotel does not have private Chef service available, here is a list of links to favorite chefs in San Jose del Cabo:

Chef Casiano Reyes
Angel Carbajal
Alex Thiel
Fabrice Guisset
Volker Romeike
Drew Deckman
Pia Quintana

Don’t get discouraged thinking that our celebrity chefs are most likely busy or expensive, the worse that can happen is that you will get their recommendation of an excellent chef that suits your timing and specific needs.

3. Take a class

Have you ever taken an international gastronomic tour? A great way to experience food in San Jose del Cabo is taking a culinary class.

Chef Pia Quintana

San Jose del Cabo is home to excellent Chefs like Pia Quintana, who owns PQ Culinary Consulting & Catering. Pia Quintana moved to San Jose del Cabo 8 years ago. For two years she was Sous Chef of Ventanas Al Paraiso High End Resort before she created and designed the first organic restaurant in Los Cabos in partnership with chef Angel Carbajal. After a journey of extraordinary educational experiences in Europe, USA, and Mexico in the world of cuisine, she now herself  to her intimate interests that include Mexican Gastronomy adapted to foreign taste, International Gastronomic Tours, and teaching how to cook. Pia Quintana is a specialist in healthy Mexican Cuisine and focuses in organic products. To be part of her cooking classes, private events, and demonstrations is one of a kind experience–a San Jose del Cabo kind of experience.

Enrique Silva, owner of the famous Tequila Restaurant  gives a harvesting, cooking and wine tasting class at his organic farm  “Los Tamarindos”, not more than 5 miles from San Jose del Cabo.

Patrick and Gloria Greene at Flora Farm offer not only regional cooking classes, but they also invite you to bring your family together by preparing and sharing food and creating traditions to pass down through generations. Stay at one of their Culinary Cottages, let the season suggest what you eat, and live life on the land you farm.

In San Jose del Cabo you can also find walk-in Creative Culinary Classes at the cooking school Aroma at Plaza Peninsula. They also offer Summer Cooking Camps for children!

You could also include a road trip and visit the magic town Todos Santos. Once there, you can stay a week for a cooking adventure with Dany Lamote, head chef of the famed Hotel California and Iker Algorri, owner of the Todos Santos institution Café Brown, and experience cooking as seen in the segments featured on Chef Rick Bayless’ PBS Show Mexico, One Plate at a Time.

4. Celebrate your event in  SJC

Are you getting married? Is it your anniversary? A family reunion? Maybe you are celebrating your honeymoon? Organizing a yoga retreat? A conference? A concert? A romantic rendezvouz? An organic food workshop?

Whatever the inspiration for your event, let your favorite Chef or Restaurant cater for you. The options are endless.

5. Be your own chef

Last but not least, be your own chef. In San Jose del Cabo you will find organic produce at the Farmer’s Market, and local ingredients are available in our Mega store and several local businesses. Courtesy of president of The Chefs Association of Baja California, here is our gift to you, a San Jose del Cabo Gourmet recipe from chef Jacobo Turquie:

Trilogía de Mariscos
Seafood Trilogy

Serves four

4 jumbo shrimp size U-10, peeled and de-veined
2 – 2 lb red or rock lobster, split in half lengthwise
8 sea scallops, shucked
1/4 cup salted butter
1 tsp salt
1 lime, juiced
2 bok choy stalks washed, rinsed and split in half lengthwise
1 lb organic baby vegetables (zucchini, patty-pan, carrots, French beans)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cups Spanish chorizo risotto

Grill the shrimp, lobster, and scallops with butter and a dash of salt until they are cooked
but tender. Once done, squeeze a lime over the seafood for extra flavor. Grill the split bok
choy and place on a side of the serving dish. Sauté the organic baby vegetables with olive
oil and season. Place the split lobster next to the bok choy and arrange the shrimp and
scallops over the lobster tail and the organic baby vegetables on the side.
Scoop some Spanish chorizo risotto over the lobster head as an accompaniment.
Serve with optional melted butter, garlic butter, or any other sauce for seafood.

Do you have any special ways that you experience food and dining in San Jose del Cabo? Let us know!

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Explore the San Jose del Cabo Art District

By Yesica Pineda

“Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working.”  -Pablo Picasso

Baja is a wonderful place, and it invites wonderful people. Witnessing its organic growth and creative surrender is a delight and a privilege for those who have fallen in love with its simplicity and closeness to nature.

Image courtesy of Casa Dhalia

San Jose del Cabo is a charming town at Baja California Peninsula land’s end. In contrast to its sister town Cabo San Lucas (known to be a party fancy town), San Jose del Cabo’s identity has evolved from family values and cozy community ideals, born from its dedication to the ocean and its way of life.

It is not a surprise that art has blossomed in a romantic renaissance movement, defining San Jose del Cabo as an artsy town where time and space stop and merge.

When you visit San Jose del Cabo, take the time to walk through its downtown Art District. Galleries such as Casa Dhalia are home to a unique selection of Baja’s top contemporary artists such as Sondra Richardson, Leah Porter, and photographer Prissma Lara.

As you walk the town on a Thursday night, you will encounter the Art Walk, where all galleries open their doors to visitors, inviting tourists and locals to mix in a relaxed and creative atmosphere.

Galleries participating in the weekly Art Walk include:

  • Los Cabos Amber Gallery,  where you can find one-of-a-kind jewelry and sculptures made from 22-25 million year old, 100 percent natural, untreated Chiapas Mexican amber; their Fine Art Annex features Ronsai’s abstract art and the photography of famous Bruce Herman
  • Galeria Corsica, which represents more than 50 artists
  • Casa Don Pablo, where you find authentic mexican artesanias
  • Dennis Wentworth Porter who, for close to two decades, has been capturing the beauty of Mexico and who opened Casa Dhalia, a studio dedicated only to his art
  • El Armario, which offers Mexican Folk Art
  • El Lunario fine arts gallery, where you can admire award-winning Mexican and international artists such as Yandi Monardo and Tere Metta
  • Frank Arnold Gallery, which gives us the opportunity to visit the working art studio and living space of this international abstract artist
  • Galeria de Ida Victoria, where you can get familiar with an in-house custom frame studio specializing in preservation framing and get inspired by its paintings, sculptures, photography and prints
  • Ivan Guadarrama Gallery, where you can interact with original art (life castings)
  • La Dolce Art Gallery, which invites you to admire Mexican Artist Alejandrina Calderoni and also dine on the best Italian food in town
  • La Sacristia Art and History Gallery, which displays genuine pottery and ceramic art
  • Arenas Gallery, where you can find find Mata Ortiz pottery
  • Muvezi Gallery, which inspires you to support Africa and admire Zimbabwe’s sculptors
  • Patricia Mendoza Art Gallery, which shows contemporary Mexican artists known nationally and internationally in important collections and museums
  • Arte Galeria, which is Blacksmith Shop, Art Studio, and Restoration in one

Believe me when I tell you that San Jose del Cabo, in itself, is pure art.

Have you experienced the Art Walk?  Do you have any stories or hints to share?

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Can You Eat Organic in San Jose del Cabo?

By Yesica Pineda

One of the greatest pleasures of travel is the opportunity to encounter new cultures through local food. In seaside San Jose del Cabo, you will find an eclectic assortment of foods and styles, from fresh fruits and veggies to seafood, Italian, California-style, European, Turkish, Spanish, French, American, Chinese, Japanese—and of course, traditional Mexican tacos.

Did you know that many of these local restaurants source their ingredients from the San Jose del Cabo Organic Farmer’s Market? Here, you can find produce from a variety of local organic farms, such as that produced by Sabor de Amor (Taste of Love).

A branch of the organization Raices y BrazosSabor de amor is located at Colonia Chamizal San Jose del Cabo. Its mission is to “reach out and nourish folks through homegrown local organic foods infused with love and intention.” Raices y Brazos is an integral center for the exploration of individual and collective evolution. Its areas of exploration include: art, music, yoga, dance, healing, spirit, ecology, activism, education, organizing and community building.

The growers are a mix of volunteers who travel from all over to sustain the gardens and the local community that works on it; it is a significant community effort, directed and founded by Peter Domecq. You will find them as a strong presence in the Farmers Market, offering the veggies of the season. You can find out in detail which veggies and fruits are in season at San Jose del Cabo Organic Market’s website.

What is organic?  Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality. Organic foods are produced using methods that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as pesticides and chemical fertilizers.

You will find variations of this definition often, but they are incomplete. What is special about our Farmer’s Market in San Jose del Cabo is its resonance with what many of us feel and believe. Being organic is a natural way of life in spirit, in words, and in actions.

So yes, you can eat organic in San Jose del Cabo!

How much do you know about organic food in Mexico or even organic food in general? Comment with your experiences and knowledge.

   

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