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Oct 10, 2011 10:45 PM

Baja Culinary Fest Oct 5-9, 2011

My wife and I had the pleasure of celebrating our anniversary at Caesar's in Tijuana last Saturday night (Oct 8). The cocktail and wine-paired, eight course meal, part of the Baja Culinary Fest, was prepared by three notable chefs, Javier Plascencia, Pablo San Román and Juantxo Sánchez. In addition there were two cocktail mixologists and a sommelier.

The event started in earnest at about 8:30PM with a rum cocktail. Later, as courses were served there were two white wines (the first a bone-dry Sauvignon Blanc, the second a blend of Carignan Blanc [I didn’t know such existed] and macabbeo). Later came a palate-cleansing tequila and honey cocktail and then three red wines including one of my favorites, J.C. Bravo Carignan. Dinner concluded close to midnight.

Suffice to say the dishes were beautifully presented and the flavors and textures were a delight, with each dish seeming to outshine its predecessors. The first attached image shows a menu which may give you an idea of the night’s food and wine pairings. There were some gaps between courses that seemed a bit long but overall the pace was good considering the number of drinks and wine poured. Pauses gave us time to consider what we had just eaten and the impossible notion of trying to duplicate similar things at home.

After dinner, the second photo shows the chefs and drink specialists posing for photographs. The chef to the left is Javier Plascencia whose family operates Caesar’s, reputed to be the home of the salad of the same name. I have been there before and the salad, prepared table-side, is quite good but this night was for bold, new dishes.

I regret not having the time to get to other Baja Culinary Fest events as I am sure they were as well done as this.

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  1. Ringo Gato, thanks for the deliciously detailed report. I very much want to visit Caesar's and Mision 19 soon!

    1. I was there, too. It was ineveitable we'd be in the same place in Baja one of these times. I was in the tapas bar, but also had most of your menu. You missed the Food Network's Chef Marcela Valladolid, and Chef Jair Tellez of Laja and Mero Toro; they were there,too . The mixologists were Pablo Moix and Steve Livigni from LA(La Descarga, Harvard and Stone, and Pour Vous).

      I also attended the Mision 19 dinner with Chefs Javier Plascencia, John Sedlar(Rivera), Pablo Salas, and Angel Velazquez. The dinner was outstanding.

      3 Replies
      1. re: streetgourmetla

        Hi sgla,

        I cross-posted your review, with full credit and a link to your website on Baja Nomad.

        Hope to run in to you at some other fabulous event!


        1. re: streetgourmetla

          I was sitting in the dining room just off of the tapas bar so you probably walked by me more than a few times. I did hear people in the tapas bar speaking English. That may have been your party.

          You wouldn't recognize me but I have seen you on TV (a food show of course). I have met Jair Tellez and should have recognized him too. The alcohol may have clouded some of my senses, but not my taste buds..

          1. re: Ringo Gato

            We were a party of 5:Asians,Whites,and Latinos sitting at a table near the bar. Think we were there around 8:30-11:30PM.

        2. Here is a report posted by blogger Tiffin Unboxed. Lots and lots of pictures - a food porn fest!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Gypsy Jan

            She was part of a group of 52 people I brought to the fest. Viva Baja!