Renowned Chefs and Culinary Arts icons from the region come together for Tijuana Innovadora
What a weekend was had! Both the Baja California Culinary Fest and Tijuana Innovadora began on October 11th. The BC Culinary Fest continued throughout the weekend, and the Tijuana Innovadora will run until October 21st. We had the pleasure of attending different events at each, all the while joining forces to launch Club Tengo Hambre, and its first tour. Sunday afternoon we attended the Culinary Arts Panel at CECUT.
The first panel was titled "Our Gastronomic History: An Intangible Legacy". The guest speakers spoke all about Pre-hispanic Mexican food, and how important it is to preserve that. The panel stressed that it all starts at home, with learning different techniques and how to cook the traditional dishes at a young age. This then should continue to carry on from generation to generation. Eating a meal, that takes you back to your home, or even brings you down memory lane somehow, will always have a special place in one's heart.
“Cuisine from Tijuana to the World”
The guest speakers that made up this panel from left to right are: Chef Javier Plascencia, Chef Miguel Angel Guerrero, Javier Gonzalez Director of the Culinary Art School in Tijuana, Chef Martin San Roman, Chef Jair Tellez, and Luis Ricardo Bonilla Cazarin. Each and every Chef and speaker drew the crowd in with their passion for the cuisine that hails from Baja California. Whether the Chefs were talking about their own style of cooking, with the use of these local ingredients, or how they are incorporated into their Baja Med dishes was so intriguing. Each individual on that stage has their own interpretation of what their dishes mean to them, as well as where their inspiration stems from. This is among the many reasons that I love Baja California. You can go to each of these Chef's restaurants, and taste that each of their dishes are not only absolutely delicious, but they each have their own character. That was even further examined when the panelists were asked on the spot, what dish they would each make to represent Tijuana/Baja California.
Chef Javier Plascencia answered with the soup that he had made in the Culinary Battle the day before, he described that the smokiness of the dish was there to remind the judges of the smell of the burning charcoal as you drive down the streets. Just even thinking about that aroma reminds me of Tijuana. Chef Miguel Angel Guerrero answered with "Cordero a la vuelta vuelta", he stressed that the lamb from Baja California is different than anywhere else. Javier Gonzalez answered with a Carne Asada Taco, which I am sure many can vouch for that answer. Chef Martin San Roman said a Pastel de Crepas. That has to be one of my all time favorite desserts. Finally Chef Jair Tellez answered with making a salad from the vegetables in his garden. I personally will always have a great memory of the salad that I had at Laja.
Just walking away from the panel, you could still feel and hear the words of passion behind Baja California cuisine. If you have yet to try the food, you are missing out on a whole new world.
"From Grill to Microphone: Cooking Can Make you Famous"
Chef Marcela Valladolid, host of "Mexican Made Easy" and Sam Zien of "Sam the Cooking Guy" led the audience through both of their personal journeys and experiences to Television stardom. These two were an absolute pleasure to watch. I find it so interesting to hear about where it all began for them. They both stated that there is no such thing as "overnight stars". You just don't hear about those people, until they end up in the spotlight. There were so many memorable quotes from both of the guest speakers that evening. I loved how Marcela mentioned that she would love to have a new show focusing on her travelling Mexico, and showing everyone that it is safe, and the true beauty of it all. When Sam Zien stated, "The pride the Tijuanans have over the city is over the top." That right there is such a valid point. He was there for only a short period time, and was able to witness that passion and pride.