On the 9th November at the Agrupación Leonesa, the British Chamber of Commerce co-hosted a special event, titled the Fiesta Gourmet de Baja California, in collaboration with Eurocam and the Baja California state government. With the aim of shining a light on the gastronomic talent emanating from the state of Baja California, a selection of prominent breweries, wineries and chefs from the region were invited to provide a rich insight into the culinary talent that the north-western state has to offer.
BritChaM President and EY Partner, Emilio Diaz, and then Shaila Webher, the Marketing Director from the state of Baja California’s Department of Tourism, welcomed all attendees before introducing Óscar Escobedo Carignan, the Secretary of Tourism for the state, who gave a brief overview of the outstanding reputation of the craft beers, wines and chefs present at the event, as well as of the state as an up-and-coming gastronomic leader despite its relatively tender age.
A promotional video was then shown which recommended Baja California as one of the top 41 destinations to visit in the world, proven by the 750,000 cruise passengers that arrive on their shores each year. It also highlighted the culinary prowess of the state, with it hosting the renowned Festival de las Conchas y el Vino Nuevo, one of the most significant oenological festivals in the calendar.
Michael Pütter, Vice-President of the British Chamber of Commerce and active member of the Rotary Club Bosque Real, thanked the government of Baja California for this excellent initiative which will for sure become a major tourist and gastronomic destination in Mexico, with an eclectic atmosphere of its own. Moreover, Michael presented the Rotaries, outlining who they are as well as what they do. A large portion of the earnings from the Fiesta Gourmet de Baja California shall be donated to the Rotaries, thus helping them to continue their activities to protect and help humanity. The Rotaries’ current projects and activities are solely focused on the victims of last September’s quakes in Mexico (Oaxaca, Chiapas, Puebla, Estado de México and CDMX).
Following the short welcome speeches, the attendees were invited to sample the array of dishes, wines and craft beers on offer. Chef Sheyla Alvarado prepared a delightful clam tostada (toasted tortilla) served with green mango and shishito pepper, and wooden stove-cooked suckling pig tacos with bean purée and tanned radish. Chef Mario Peralta chose to serve a lovely tostada with snail pâté, accompanied by a black garlic mayonnaise and seaweed powder, whilst a delectable artisan pasta with sardine sauce, breadcrumbs, brussels sprouts and olive powder was on Chef Adria Montaño’s menu.
The Gift of Xibalba
Chef Guillermo “Oso” Campos brought from “the other realm” The Gift of Xibalba, a dish representing the Day of the Dead, full of symbolism and oddities, analogies between this world and the realm where our dearly departed rest. “Oso” selected Mero fish, which travel in the depths of the ocean and are offered to the surface. Mero fish is white, by ancestral decree, representing the purity of the soul. And as every living being in this world, just after being born it bathes in a tasty imperfection.Imperfection, sin and glamour come to us through a California chilli sauce, giving a red tincture like the blood of the lucky living creatures who can still savour life. To create a bridge between ourselves and life underneath the earth, Oso seasoned tubers and roots to create a marinade, which, when mixed with huitlacoche sauce, remembers the grief we carry on a daily basis when death confronts us. Finally, for this wonderful dish, Oso added the Cempasúchil flower to finish this beguiling gift and offering with a flourish.
Chef Javier Plascencia
And last but not least,for the sweet toothed, Denisse Zamudio, who enchanted us with a pistachio cream profiterole, a strawberry and cream-flavoured macaroon in a caramel sauce and peach gel accompanied by red fruits.
Chef Denisse Zamudio
More than 100 attendees enjoyed the taste of Baja California with an ample selection from the most prestigious wine houses of the Baja region: Vinos El Cielo, Monte Xanic, Barón Balché, Lomita, Finca La Carrodilla and Château Camou. In addition, we had the opportunity to taste high-quality craft beers from Cerveceria Transpeninsular, Insurgente and Cerveceria Wendlandt.
The Fiesta Gourmet de Baja California is an unprecedented event, and our membership was delighted with this excellent Fiesta. The British Chamber of Commerce wishes to thank the Baja California State Government for planning this amazing initiative and bringing us the best of Baja. We look forward to hosting more initiatives and activities together in the near future.