Boutique beachfront resort brings world-class culinary talent to Baja California Sur
Great news for foodies, as well as lovers of weekend getaways with soft sand beaches and spectacular ocean vistas: Rancho Pescadero has unveiled its list of guest chefs for the 2015 – 2016 season.
Renee Erickson of Seattle’s The Walrus and the Carpenter, Jessica Koslow of Los Angeles’ Sqirl, Thomas McNaughton and Ryan Pollnow of Ne Timeas Restaurant Group in San Francisco, and Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton of OX Restaurant in Portland will bring their unique culinary talents to the boutique beachfront resort, located just south of Todos Santos on the Pacific Coast of Baja California Sur.
The simple yet elegant resort has been rated as one of Mexico’s best properties, and is home to 29 suites, a garden restaurant, a spa specializing in local and indigenous ingredients, and a 2,000 square foot yoga pavilion. Rancho Pescadero’s most acclaimed attractions, however, may well be the chefs who appear at the four-day, three-night culinary weekends offered regularly from November through May.
Guests at these seasonal gastro gatherings are treated to an array of palate pleasing options – from brunches and tastings to cooking classes and artfully paired dinners from visiting and in-house chefs – and also enjoy easy access to activities like hiking, biking, fishing, surfing, and romantic beachfront horseback rides in one of the world’s most beautiful locales. As an added bonus, the resort is only 45 minutes by car from Cabo San Lucas.
Renee Erickson will kick the season off in style November 12 – 15. The Seattle based chef and restaurateur – her eateries include The Walrus and the Carpenter, The Whale Wins, Barnacle, and Boat Street Pickles – is a James Beard award finalist who authored the cookbook A Boat, A Whale and A Walrus, and has had her recipes featured in The Wall Street Journal, Bon Appétit, and Food & Wine. This fall Erickson and her partners will open two new restaurants on Capitol Hill, an Normandy influenced oyster bar and a French Steak house that will feature their own grass raised beef from their farm La Ferme des Anes on Whidbey Island. She also plans to open a doughnut shop called General Porpoise Doughnuts.
Jessica Koslow takes center stage next, appearing the weekend of March 24 – 27, 2016. Koslow’s Sqirl, which opened in 2011, has drawn rave reviews for its fine food and focus on organic, sustainable produce from family-owned farms. In 2014, Sqirl was rated the 7th best restaurant in Los Angeles by LA Magazine, and 9th best by LA Weekly. Koslow was also one of 100 chefs in the U.S. to be nominated for Food & Wine’s People’s Choice Chef of the Year, was named a Star Chef RISING STAR, and was declared Chef of the Year by Eater LA. Koslow has a new project, Sqirl Away, opening this fall.
Chefs Thomas McNaughton and Ryan Pollnow are the driving creative culinary forces behind the acclaimed Ne Timeas group of restaurants in San Francisco, which include Flour + Water, Central Kitchen, and Salumeria. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, McNaughton was nominated for a Rising Star Chef award from the James Beard Foundation in 2011, 2012 and 2013, and published a cookbook called Flour + Water: Pasta in 2014. He and Pollnow, who worked at Mugaritz in Spain and now oversees the Basque cuisine at Aatxe (and other Ne Timeas restaurants), will appear at Rancho Pescadero on April 21 – 24, 2016.
Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónes Denton met while working under Chef Hiro Sone at the Michelin-starred restaurant, Terra, in Napa Valley. Greg eventually became the first titled Chef de Cuisine and Gabrielle, Sous Chef. Together, the couple opened Ox Restaurant in Portland in 2012. The Argentine inspired eatery has garnered tons of attention: including James Beard nominations for Best Chef in the U.S. Northwest and Best New Restaurant in America. They’re currently working on an OX Restaurant cookbook, and will be at Rancho Pescadero May 26 – 29, 2016.
The guest chefs will share the spotlight with the resort’s own in-house stars, Jeff and Susan Mall. The dynamic duo formerly helmed Zin Restaurant and Wine Bar, and Zin Restaurant Catering in Sonoma County, California; but since February 2015 have been been overseeing the food and beverage program at Rancho Pescadero. Most notably, at the resort’s signature dining spot, the rustic yet elegant farm-to-table concept: Garden Restaurant
Accommodation packages are not a prerequisite for attendance. Locals are invited to buy individual tickets for cooking classes, and are also welcome to make reservations for the Saturday night dinners. A complete schedule and price guide is listed below:
GUEST CHEF WEEKEND DATES:
November 12-15, 2015—Renee Erickson
March 24-27, 2016— Jessica Koslow
April 21-24, 2016 —Thomas McNaughton and Ryan Pollnow
May 26-29, 2016—Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton
WEEKEND PRICE GUIDE
Cooking demo and lunch with Guest Chef ($70)
Tequila and Mezcal Tasting ($30)
Cocktail Class with Bar Manager Danny Sanchez ($20)
Baja Wine Tasting ($30)
Tasting Menu Dinner by Guest Chef in the Garden Restaurant ($100)
Package pricing for the weekend is $250 per person plus tax, and includes all of the above and a Rancho Pescadero apron. Guests who book the whole package they will receive 15% off their room rate. For more information, or to make reservations, call (910) 300-8891 in the U.S., (612) 135-5849 in Mexico, or visit www.ranchopescadero.com.
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