Luis Peña, co-owner and operator of Romesco restaurant in San Diego, talks to us about serving Mediterranean-inspired Mexican food, which he calls “Mexiterranean.” The chef shows us their signature dishes Baja Rock Fish with Achiote sauce, Pineapple Sauce, Shishito Peppers, Ash; and Grilled Octopus with Cauliflower Puree, Guacamole, and Ash.

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Einav Gefen, corporate executive chef for Unilever Food Solutions talks about the adaptation of Baja’s cuisine on menus in San Diego. With visits to San Diego hot spots Romesco restaurant, Corazón de Torta, and Galaxy Taco, she reflects on respect for Baja’s ingredients and culinary authenticity.

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Galaxy Tacos, San Diego

Christine Rivera, Chef de Cuisine at Galaxy Tacos in San Diego, talks to us about making their own in-house masa and tortillas. Their Baja Fish Tacos, extra crispy from the beer and vodka in the batter, are topped with cabbage, crema, and pico de gallo. Next she shows us how they make Clam Birria, using the sauce from their birria short rib tacos.

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Chef Jose “Joe” Rodrigo Figueroa Sanchez and Owner Antonio “Tony” Ley, talk to us about their “Mexican grandma cooking” that they serve from their Corazón de Torta Food Truck in San Diego. The chef runs food trucks in both Baja and San Diego, and shows us his Meatball Torta with Chipotle Tomato Sauce, Roasted Cauliflower Mole Tacos, and Crispy Tacos with Chicken Birria.

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Chef Javier Plascencia talks to us from his restaurant Jazamango in Todos Santos. He shows us his vegetable garden, and some of his dishes: Grilled Octopus with Beet Aguachile; Panela with Tomatoes and Strawberries; Grilled Chocolate Clams; Rabbit Stew with Fennel; and Ceviche with Pickled Green Strawberries.

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Next we visit Benno at Hotel San Cristóbal in Todos Santos, Mexico. At this beachfront restaurant, Executive Chef Edgar Palau serves contemporary Mexican and Mediterranean flavors rooted in the bounty of Baja’s seafood.

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Chef-owner Enrique Olvera talks to us at his restaurant Manta, in Cabo San Lucas. He shows us how he makes Veracruz-style Ceviche and Mojo de Ajo, and talks about his food philosophy

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Next we visit Sabina Bandera, who is chef and owner of the celebrated La Guerrerense Seafood Cart and Sabina Restaurant in Ensenada. She shows us a classic Baja dish, the fish taco, which she makes with battered and fried yellow tail, topped with cabbage, salsa roja, pico de gallo, pickled white onions with oregano, salsa verde, and crema. She also shows us her famous seafood pozol with octopus, squid, clams, and shrimp, chiles, epazote, and hominy. Her seafood tostadas and cocktails have earned her international acclaim and a visit from Anthony Boudain.

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Surrounded by a vegetable garden and vineyards, we visit the picturesque Finca Altozano in Valle de Guadalupe. Here Chef-owner Javier Plascencia prepares rustic cuisine that celebrates Baja’s local bounty. He shows us the restaurant’s most popular dishes: Octopus with Chile de Arbol, Hoisin Sauce, Peanuts, Mirin, Ponzu, Ginger, Lemongrass and Lime; and Grilled Quail Marinated in Lime, Rosemary, Garlic, Chile de Arbol, Chiltepin Served with Swiss Chard, Zucchini, and Carrots.

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Miguel Angel Guerrero is an avid hunter and the chef-owner of La Esperanza Baja Med in Valle de Guadalupe. He talks about what “Baja Med” cuisine means in his restaurant: Using local Baja products, cooking with Mediterranean-inspired techniques, and bringing in Asian flavors influenced by the region’s history of Asian immigration. After a morning of hunting, he prepares three dishes back at his restaurant: Trio of Cow Tongue, Seared Tuna and Seared Loin of Rabbit; Grouper with Grilled Kale and Seared Crumbled Cows Stomach; and Octopus with Grilled Kale, Tomato Coulis, and Fried Potatoes.

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Roberto Alcocer, Chef Owner of Malva in Valle de Guadalupe, talks to us about the influences that go into each of his dishes: First, each dish must be Mexican; secondly, they must be made from all products from Baja; and third, the dishes must reflect the chef’s personal taste and history.

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Doña Esthela is a beloved fixture of Valle de Guadalupe and chef owner of La Cocina de Doña Esthela. In 2015, FoodieHub named La Cocina de Doña Esthela the "Best Breakfast in the World," bringing this self-taught cook international acclaim. She shows us how she makes her famous borrego, gorditas rellenas, and corn pancakes.

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Chef Diego Hernandez from Corazón de Tierra in Valle de Guadalupe, talks about working with the bounty of Baja’s products, and growing his own vegetables at his farm. He shows Einav Gefen, corporate executive chef at Unilever Food Solutions his dish of Roasted Beets with Garlic Sauce, Dried Hibiscus, Sheep’s Milk Cheese, Hollyhock Petals, and Gremolata. Next he prepares Abalone with Roasted Celery Root and White Mole. The mole is made from sous vide daikon, beef fat, rosemary, marjoram, soaked fresh almonds, and serrano chiles.

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Phil Gregory, winemaker and owner of Vena Cava, talks about inviting Chef Diego Hernandez to open Corazón de Tierra, and growing grapes in Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe.

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We visit the open air, wood-fired kitchen of Deckman’s, and talk to Chef-owner Drew Deckman about connecting with local producers. He shows us how he prepares Grilled Whole Sardines with Cabbage and Smoked Tomatoes. Deckman’s Grilled Quail with Black Beans, Pickled Radish, Purslane, Chorizo and Pumpkin Seed Powder and Pipian Sauce has become the restaurant’s signature dish. Lastly, he shows us   one of his favorite dishes: Striped Bass with Asparagus, Tomatoes, Fried Espazote, Clams, and Birria Sauce.

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Chef Sheyla Alvarado at TrasLomita talks about creating the quintessential smoky flavors of Baja cuisine. She starts by showing Einav Gefen, corporate executive chef of Unilever Food Solutions how to make Black Aguachile from charred onion, serrano chiles, tortillas, and chiles de arbol pureed with fresh cucumber and lime juice. She serves this intense smoky sauce with raw shrimp, watermelon radish, cucumber, avocado crema, cilantro and garlic blossoms. Next, she prepares Suckling Pig Tacos with Grilled Tomatillo, Pickled Red Onion, and Avocado Crema.

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A Food Tour of Baja, Mexico

On this tasty trip to Baja, we reveal the classic dishes of this Mexican region that delight diners around the world. “Savoring the Best of World Flavors: Baja” is the 14th installment of The Culinary Institute of America’s World Culinary Arts series. You’ll explore the street food, kitchens, markets, and restaurants of Tijuana, Valle de Gaudalupe, Ensenada, Todos Santos and Los Cabos, as leading chefs and food authorities discuss ingredients and demonstrate culinary techniques in step-by-step detail. Mexican culinary historian Ruth Alegria and Einav Gefen, executive chef for Unilever Food Solutions, will take you through this region of culinary creativity.

Download recipes and watch the full series at http://www.ciaprochef.com/wca/baja/   

 

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Tijuana Street Food

While Tijuana earned a reputation for being a salty, even dangerous town with more of a bar culture than a food scene, the city is reinventing itself and is well worth visiting just for its delicious street food. Our guide Fernando Acosta, president of the Association of Food Trucks, shows us that delicious and inexpensive street food can be enjoyed throughout the city in a casual and social atmosphere. We make a stop at Mariscos Ruben to taste ceviches and aguachiles that won owner Mirtha Rodríguez Vega “best street food in the world” during the 2016 Street Food Congress in Manila. We visit the taco institution, Taquería Franc, then continue to Telefónica Gastro Park to explore Tijuana’s hipster food truck scene.

Download recipes and watch the full series at http://www.ciaprochef.com/wca/baja/

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Chef Rebecca Peizer from The Culinary Institute of America prepares a healthful and delicious Seared Salmon with Great Northern White Beans, Butternut Squash and Winter Greens with Citrus Green Tea Dressing. 

Go to recipe page: http://www.ciaprochef.com/northarvest/SalmonwithWhiteBeans

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Chef Rebecca Peizer from The Culinary Institute of America prepares a delicious vegetarian recipe: Chard Leaves Stuffed with Cannellini Beans, Roasted Peppers Baked in Spicy Tomato Sauce.

Go to recipe page: http://www.ciaprochef.com/northarvest/StuffedChardLeaveswithBeans

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