Have a Baja Moment! at Deckman’s San Jose with Some of Baja’s Best Food and Wine
There are myriad reasons Deckman’s is the benchmark fixture of the San Jose del Cabo dining scene. It’s not just the mouth-wateringly delicious dishes, showcasing such vivid and creative presentations that they seem to suggest an unlikely collaboration between Escoffier and Kandinsky. And it’s not just the ambient verve and vivacity of the live music, or the supple, well-proportioned wines, or the amiable service, or the scenic Sea of Cortez views. It’s a combination of many things, not least of which is the restaurant’s commitment to slow food principles and locally sourced, predominantly organic ingredients.
A lot of local chefs claim they use locally sourced, organic ingredients, but these statements are often driven more by marketing than principles. Owner and Chef Drew Deckman is the regional leader for Slow Food BCS and is dedicated to using locally grown, gathered or caught food.
But even that’s just half the story.
Deckman’s honest approach to ingredient sourcing is inspired by a very contemporary culinary approach aimed at customizing the dining experience. Each dish is available in three different portion sizes, from tapas-style tastings to larger plates, and the menu is turned over nightly to illustrate Baja’s bountiful pleasures, as well as the ingenuity of Deckman and his kitchen staff.
What else would you expect from a man with a degree in philosophy from Rhodes College? Drew Deckman has impeccable culinary credentials. He was mentored by celebrated chefs like Paul Bocuse, Jacques Maximin, Gilles DuPont, and Tommy Byrne. He earned a coveted Michelin Star while helming Restaurant Vitus in Germany, and was lauded as a ‘Rising-Star Chef’ while acting as executive chef for the Four Seasons in Berlin. But what sets him apart is not simply training or technical mastery, but an abiding belief in and practice of these core principles.
Dinner at Deckman’s San Jose is never the same twice, but it always features Baja’s best food and wine. Perched on a bluff overlooking the Costa Azul surf break, the restaurant always offers fresh pleasures. Perhaps it is the first taste of a newly created cocktail at the antique wooden bar, a sampling from the night’s menu, an improvised riff from the live jazz band, the way the light strikes one of the paintings or vintage posters, or the moon dances upon the water. The beauty of Deckman’s, the secret to its success, is that it fuses innovation, originality, and sui generis offerings with authenticity and traditional values.
“We serve them because they come from our neighbors,” said Drew Deckman, explaining why the restaurant exclusively features Mexican wines. Considering the rising reputation of wines from Baja California Norte’s Guadalupe Valley, it’s not much of a sacrifice, and the decision demonstrates the chef’s commitment to serving local products whenever possible. In addition to the superb slate of terroir-driven wines, Deckman’s also has its own beer on tap, a custom-constructed witbier made in partnership with Ensenada-based craft-brew specialist Nathaniel Schmidt of Agua Mala . The beer’s flavor profile was designed by Deckman to pair well with food, and sudsy selections are staples on the restaurant’s multi-course menus, as are are samplers from the bar’s 30 plus varieties of artisanal Mezcal.
Deckman’s operated a seasonal restaurant in Baja’s wine country last summer – Deckman’s en El Mogor at the Mogor Badan winery near Ensenada – and expects to do so again this year. Collaborations with Baja winemakers and chefs are a key aspect of Deckman’s appeal. The San Jose restaurant not only highlights the talents of its staff, but top talent and products from the entirety of the peninsula. Special dinners and wine club collaborations are a frequent feature, with cameos by visiting food and wine professionals and personalities. For reservations or information about upcoming events, visit www.deckmans.com, email email@example.com, or call (624) 172-6269. Deckman’s is open for dinner every night except Monday.
Baja’s best food and wine can be found at Deckman’s San Jose. What about Baja’s best hotels and accommodations?
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Photos courtesy of Deckman’s and Alejandro Rodriguez.
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