Celebración del Camarón at Misión 19
In celebration of the shrimp from San Felipe and the conservation of la Vaquita Marina, Mision 19 hosted a 6 course dinner with a menu created especially for the evening. Chef Javier Plascencia developed the special menu honoring the San Felipe shrimp. We had the honor of sharing the Chef's table with a group that promote San Felipe Pescados y Mariscos. They are proud supporters of sustainable fishing methods. The assured us that all of the shrimp that we consumed were vaquita friendly, and were caught using alternative fishing methods, that do not further endanger these beautiful mammals. All of the products that they offer are captured by the fishermen of San Felipe, Baja California in the wild waters of the reserve of the Biosfera del Alto Golfo de California.
The vaquita porpoise is the smallest and most endangered cetacean in the world. They only live in the warm waters of the northern Gulf of California, Mexico. Unfortunately these porpoises are accidentally being caught in gillnets, while the fishermen are out catching shrimp. With less than 250 of these mammals around, it is incredibly sad to see these mammals on the brink of extinction. There is a great fear that this species may disappear, if the necessary urgent measures are not taken.
The five savory courses of the meal, let that San Felipe shrimp shine with various preparations and flavors.
The first course, Shrimp Aguachile parfait with layers of avocado meringue, chicharron, and jocoque. When all mixed together, all of the different textures combine, and created this outstanding beginning to the evening
The second course, was one that stuck out to me the most the entire night. A dish created from a inspiring trip to Thailand, Poached shrimp in coconut milk, with beans and cilantro. There was a subtle heat, that was present with every spoonful. I thoroughly enjoyed every single bite, and the shrimp was so tender.
Lengua cocinada al Alto Vacio topped with shrimp tartare, morcilla, and an Elephant garlic chip. This was Antonio's favorite of the evening, and my first time enjoying shrimp tartare. The dish was absolutely outstanding!
Arroz Meloso y fideos with "Baja surprises". The surprises turned out to be clam, mussel, and that gorgeous shrimp. This is where we also got to enjoy the zest of the Buddha's Hand Citron. It is so incredibly fragrant, and adds a wonderful touch of citrus, a bit different than the lemon zest that you are used to.
The final savory course, "Costa Azul" Shrimp, Mexican Cheddar, Marlin bacon, and cured nopales. This dish came second in the running for the evening. The fried piece of cheese, with a tiny bite of shrimp, the salty Marlin bacon , and the slight acidity of the cactus. There really are not may words to describe it. Let's just say, I would love to see this dish again at least once in my lifetime.
The dessert course, Elote, Granola Salada, Leche Quemada. Thin slices of the Buddha's hand citron, were also on the plate. I found it really nice to be able to taste it in both sweet and savory dishes. This dessert was incredible, not one bite was left on my plate.
It was such an amazing feeling to be part of this evening. Thank you to Chef Javier Plascencia and Adria Montaño for creating such a memorable dining experience, in honor of the shrimp from San Felipe and conservation of La Vaquita Marina.