DELICIOUS NEW HEIGHTS FOR BAJA CUISINE
Ocean Blue: January, 2013
article by: Sarah Gold
photography: La76 Photography
Capella Pedregal's Culinary Dream Team Brings High Style to Local Flavors
For as long as anyone can remember, Baja has ad all the makings of a great gastronomic destination: gorgeous locally harvested produce, a rich sense of culinary tradition, and an array of regionally distinctive flavors and dishes. But until recently, Baja's unique cuisine was mainly appreciated by locals- and overlooked by pedigreed chefs.
In the past couple of years, however, a dramatic shift has been taking place- one that seeks to both celebrate and elevate local cookery. Leading the movement are three culinary stars, who collectively helm the kitchens at Los Cabos's Capella Pedregal resort. Along wiht a deep appreciation for Baja's food culture, this trio shares a level of formidable epicurean expertise: Food and Beverage Director, Marco Bustamante, spent his formative years creating haute cuisine at, among other places, Thomas Keller's Michelin-starred Per Se in New York City; Executive Robuchon in Paris; and Wine Director, Juan Carlos Flores Mazon, has twice been chosen to represent his home country, Mexico, in the international World Sommelier Competition.
The team's refined approach to creating menus for the resort has resulted in sophisticated interpretations of local dishes; for example, ceviches that incorporate such unusual ingredients as parrot fish with Serrano-Chile emulsion, and sea bass with meyer lemon mousse and smoked paprika. The resort's signature liberation also put an artisan spin on local favorites- for example, chipotle-spiced margaritas made with Baja mango are perpetual guest favorites. But beyond simply innovating in the kitche, Bustamante, Mucharraz, and Flores Mazon have been busy cultivating special partnerships with farmers, fishermen, and vintners throughout the region. In many cases these relationships allow Capella Pedregal to procure the best and freshest local produce (like the pick of the day's catch from the Pacific and Sea of Corez). Increasingly, through, collaborative efforts with growers are yielding all kinds of specialty ingredients, which are available only to the resort chefs: for example, Guadalajara raised pata negra pork (which Mucharraz cures for 10 months to make Jamon iberico), and rare "Mona Lisa" wine varietals from the Guadalupe Valley, which Flores Mazon is blending to make a unique Capella Pedregal wine collection.
The fruits of the culinary teams' labors can be tasted year-round at the resort's four restaurants (which range from an informal beach bar to an alfresco seafood grill and a fine-dining club). Their talents are also on delicious display during the resort's annual summer Food & Wine Festival, held over a long weekend in July. For reservations and tickets, visit, www.capellahotels.com/cabosanlucas/dining-en.html.