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Shellfish and Wine Festival Gets Underway at Ensenada Restaurants

By Magy Hoyer

With its “Baja Med” cuisine—a hybrid of Baja, Asian, and Mediterranean flavors—Ensenada is emerging as culinary destination in its own right. Find out what the trend is all about this weekend, as some of Ensenada’s top restaurants pull out all the stops.

Shellfish and Wine at Top Ensenada Restaurants

The Festival de las Conchas y el Vino Nuevo, a shellfish and wine extravaganza, began today, and Provino, the organization behind the annual event, has a series of food-focused events lined up for this Saturday and Sunday.

Get a Shellfish Education

Seafood enthusiasts wanting to learn more about harvesting mussels or preparing oysters are in luck; on Saturday, all are invited to participate in one of three educational events. The first excursion takes visitors out to sea to view mussel cultures, and a second heads to the Maxmar Lab at the Escuela de Gastronomía UABC to check out shellfish larvae.

The third event, a gastronomic conference on the preparation of oysters held at the Aula Magna Escuela de Gastronomía, will include keynote speeches given by winemakers and guest chefs.

On Saturday afternoon, there will be an interactive barbeque, where diners can learn to cook with shellfish and participate in a food-pairing contest. Tickets for all events are available online; register via Provino’s website.

Cena Temática  

Four local restaurants will served themed dinners at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday night. Each restaurant will host a celebrity chef:

  • Laja Restaurant will host Chef Gonzalo Rivera from Hotel Capella Ixtapa Guerrero.
  • The Counter will host Chef Mikel Alonso from Restaurant Biko in Mexico City.
  • Chamomile will host Chef Jared Reardon of Restaurant Jasso in Mexico City.
  • Corazon de Tierra, the restaurant at La Villa del Valle, will host Chef Vincent Torres from Oca Restaurant in Mexico City. Chef Torres and Diego Hernandez, the chef at Corazon de Tierra, will prepare a special seven-course meal for diners on Saturday night.

Corazon de Tierra  has been the subject of some positive media buzz lately. Hernandez was voted “Best Young Chef” in Baja and Anthony Bourdain, the host of Travel Channel series “No Reservations”  filmed a recent episode with Hernandez.

Oceanside Finale

The Festival de las Conchas y el Vino Nuevo will kick off at the Hotel Coral y Marina at noon on Sunday. Top wineries and restaurants in Ensenada will set up tents and showcase their very best dishes for all to enjoy.  The festival runs until 7:00 p.m., and tickets costs MXN $370 (about US$28). Children under 12 are free.

Visit the Provino site for tickets and more info. Browse Ensenada restaurant listings.

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