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James Pickell, CEO & President
Self-confessed serial entrepreneur. Addicted to challenges. Bores easily. Baja denizen and afficionado.
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Iron Chef Baja California Competes in Todos Santos

Happy people eat together…

Baja Iron Chef at Tre Galline in Todos SantosFriday, March 9, 2012, 50 lucky connoisseurs of fine dining got to play the role of judges at Tre Galline in Todos Santos for the Iron Chef Baja California, a delicious competition between Chef Angelo Dal Bon and Chef Carlitos Cham has taken place in the midst of a fun Baja Style ambiance. Guests awarded one, two or three stars on four courses prepared by each chef, served in pairs: two plus two appetizers, two first courses and two seconds courses, and the top Chef was determined by the most stars.

“The reason why I am so captivated with this place is because of the incredible products that you can find here, amazingly talented chefs, seafood, world-class wines…I love the fact that so many of the producers here are working organically or they are talking about sustainable seafood, it is a place that I encourage everybody to come and explore. It is amazing, it will blow your mind.” says Iron Chef cuisine celebrity Rick Bayless, who visited Baja California, Mexico to tape 13 episodes for his PBS television series “Mexico, One Plate at a Time.”

Iron Chef Baja California kept the fire going!  Chef Angelo Dal Bon owns Tre Galline Restaurant in Todos Santos an exquisite place to eat in the heart of historic downtown. Born in the Salo district near Lago Di Garda, Italy, his native Italian ethnicity defines the soul of his menu which imports many products from Italy, but it is the taste of their pastas, sausage and raviolis made by the family what makes their cuisine an authentic Baja eclectic favorite. Inside and outside comfortable and simply earthly styled seating adds to the experience a sense of cultural time travel, always enjoyed by the welcoming and attentive service. He also owns Caffe Todos Santos.

Chef Carlitos Cham owns Carlitos Place grew up Chinese-Mexican. He is a famous fisherman, practiced in spear-fishing and free-diving, and his cuisine reflects his love for the ocean. The variety is wide, you can eat fresh fish and shrimp prepared sushi or sashimi style, or you can enjoy a delicious chicken Teriyaki, fresh being the common ingredient. Carlitos loves to surprise you with a free style cuisine which suits the natural raw experience of the little village in Pescadero, proudly representing a Chef made in Baja.

The menu consisted of four courses plus a desert. Wines could be paired by the judges but not relevant to the scoring.

Chef Angelo

  1. Beat leave balls with parmigiano sauce and Angelo ham
  2. Crepes with Ligurian olives and potattoes with pesto sauce and mozzarella
  3. Tagliolini with courgettes and white truffle oil with slivers of goat chees and black truffles
  4. Rack of lamb crusted with herbs and mint, with caponata of vegetablles (artichok, mushrooms, eggplant, olives, caper, onion, chile)
Chef Carlito
  1. Chicken and duck consomme with dumpling shrimps and vegetabloes
  2. Banna pepper stuuffed with crab and shrimp, places on a sweet mango sauce
  3. Steamed chocolate claim on a soy sauce, chives and cilantro, ginger and garlic oil
  4. Carlitos way crabs, sweet and delicious
The bonus desert was gelato served in passion fruit and homemade biscotti.
Dirty FingersThe author, yours truly, had both chefs nearly tied at a perfect 12 stars, with Angelo at 12,  edging out Carlito by one star at 11! “It was a close call but the Carlitos way crab was a little messy and we had no way to clean our hands” lamented one passerby…. Ouch! That oversight could have cost Carlito the win. Rumor has it Angelo hid the wet wipes and the outcome was fixed. I am sure next time Carlito will have the home court advantage.

The results of the vote was as follows:

  • 33 people in favor of Team Angel
  • 12 people in favor of Team Carlito
  • 5 people tied
Counting the stars we have:
  • 481 stars (out of 600 possible) for Angelo
  • 424 stars (out of 600 possible) for Carlito

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Todos Santos Film Festival 2012

Festival de Cine Todos Santos

Festival de Cine Todos Santos

Storytelling, one of the oldest practices honoring cultural expression and social evolution, is an art. In February, 2012, our “Pueblo Magico” (“Magical Town”) Todos Santos, celebrated its ninth edition of the Festival de Cine de Todos Santos, with a series of award winning movies; stories about people in search of freedom, justice, spirituality, connection with the gods, connection with the self. The characters told us their story through art, psychedelic journey, tradition, music, peace, war, sustainable living…love. Every movie unique, nonetheless one universal story kept touching us viewers who could recognize in all of them the heart-beat of our very own search in life…real happiness, real peace, real love, with all the pain (and laughter) that often entails.

The movies shown this year represented Mexico, Spain, Chile, Cuba and Argentina. One of the films shown was Even the Rain, featuring Gael Garcia Bernal, which is set against the backdrop of the real life 2000 “Water Wars”, that fought against Bechtel and the privatization of Bolivia’s water supply, and it was nominated by Spain for the Oscar award after winning the Silver Ariel, 3 Goya AwardsBerlin InternationalPalm Springs6 Cinema Writers Awards & Best Film European Film. Besides 25 international films, the Festival presented locally produced films with its “Youth in Video” program (with our very own Kris Torra providing tuteledge) as well as the presence of distinguished international talent.

Other films shown were The Painting lesson, AcorazadoLos otros Californios, Hidalgo,The never told story, Flores del Desierto, El dedoEl AmbulanteLos 100 sones cubanos, closing with Ispansi…all films with English subtitles. It was nice to find out was that after Diego Luna’s visit to Todos Santos Film Festival last year, the festival is now united to a network of 12 states that share his nomadic documentary film festival known as “Ambulante”; and that due to its success the Festival have added two new venues, in La Paz, the Teatro Juarez and Galería Galería, as well as continuing with their film program at the Universidad de BCS.

While the Todos Santos film festival will never be a “market” like the Sundance film festival, that’s not what it’s all about. It’s successful in its own right and yet another thread that ties together our unique and diverse region with cross-cultural interaction, education and entertainment with family.  It’s about building a community.

Congratulations to Sylvia Perel, its founder! I can hardly wait to know next year Schedule!

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Todos Santos Music Festival

The legendary Hotel California in beautiful Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, will be hosting the first ever Todos Santos Music Festival in January of 2012. The charitable three week long event will feature Peter Buck of REM, Steve Wynn, Robyn Hitchcock, and Scott McCaughey.  The admission is free, however a limited number of seats will be available for purchase for every show for only US $5 a seat. All proceeds will benefit  The Palapa Society a non-profit association dedicated to the development of educational, medical and environmental programs that benefit local children and families.

The concerts will be taking place four nights a week with special guest artists every week. Peter Buck will be performing with every band. The first set will begin at 8 p.m. each evening. There will be two sets each night.





  • January 5th-8th, 2012: Steve Wynn and The Baseball Project
    (Peter Buck, Linda Pitmon, and Scott Mccaughey)
  • January 11th-14th, 2012 Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus
    (Peter Buck, Bill Rieflin, and Scott Mccaughey)
  • January 18th-21th 2012 Scott Mccaughey and The Minus
    (Peter Buck, Bill Rieflin, and John Ramberg)

Let us know if you attend any of the nights and what your experiences were!

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