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Aarón Sánchez

AARÓN SANCHEZ

Aarón Sánchez is an award-winning chef, TV personality, author and philanthropist. He is chef/owner of Johnny Sánchez in New Orleans, and a judge on FOX’s hit culinary competition series MasterChef and MasterChef Junior. He is partner/creative director of Cocina, the first online content platform dedicated to celebrating Latin lifestyle through its vibrant culinary culture. Aarón grew up in the restaurant business and is passionate about preserving his family’s legacy through food and encouraging diversity in the kitchen.

Aarón has starred in multiple Food Network shows, most notably as a judge on Chopped and Chopped Junior. He was the host of Cooking Channel’s Emmy-nominated series, Taco Trip, and has appeared on a numerous other shows including; Iron Chef and Best Thing I Ever Ate. Additionally, Aarón hosted two Spanish-language shows on Fox Life, 3 Minutos con Aarón and MOTOCHEFS.

A third-generation cookbook author, Aarón has written two cookbooks – “La Comida del Barrio” and “Simple Food, Big Flavor”. In fall 2019 he published a memoir titled “Where I Come From: Life Lessons From a Latino Chef”. In October 2020,  Aarón and his mother, Zarela Martínez, launched their podcast Cooking in Mexican from A to Z. 

Aarón has won a James Beard Award for Television Studio Program and was recognized by the Hispanic Federation with the Premio Orgullo Award for being a leader in the Hispanic community. In 2016, Aarón founded the Aarón Sánchez Scholarship Fund (ASSF), an initiative empowering aspiring chefs from the Latin community. ASSF provides recipients with full culinary scholarships to schools in New York City and ongoing mentorship. 

Aarón’s love for the arts extends beyond the kitchen.  He is a partner in world-renowned tattoo shop and museum, Daredevil Tattoo in NYC.  An avid music lover, he enjoys cooking to the sounds of Portugal the Man, Shakey Graves, Café Tacvba, Alabama Shakes, Tank and The Bangas, Amos Lee, Lianne La Havas, and Lenny Kravitz. He has a son, Yuma, and lives in New Orleans, LA.

Adria Montaño

ADRIÁ MONTAÑO

DON RAMEN | TIJUANA, MX

Chef Adria Marina always talks about her intimacy with Tijuana, the misunderstood, chaotic and eclectic city that is also the cradle of talents that understand diners eager to leave their comfort zone. It is warm, obliging, but above all, it nurtures. It may be intense sometimes, but always has the power to transform that energy into passion.

Starting this culinary journey with two food trucks, Don Ramen, and Azarosa with its fusion cuisine with French pastry, and culminating with one of her greatest and most recognized projects, Georgina, her home for classic – modern cuisine, and the perfect canvas to express with total freedom the creativity that a career full of culinary adventures, has revealed itself through the hands of our leading lady. Her dishes take you on a journey around the world, never leaving out the Mexican produce, or their Mexican roots.

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La Chef Adria Marina siempre habla de su familiaridad con Tijuana. La ciudad incomprendida, caótica y ecléctica, es también la cuna de talentos que entiende a los comensales deseosos de salir de la zona de confort. Es cálida, servicial y sobre todo que nutre. Podrá ser en momentos intensa, pero siempre con el poder de transformar esa energía en pasión. 

Empezando esta travesía culinaria con dos foodtrucks, Don Ramen y Azarosa con su cocina fusión de repostería francesa, y culminando con uno de sus más grandes y reconocidos proyectos, Georgina, el hogar de la cocina clásica – moderna y el terreno perfecto para explayar con total libertad, la creatividad que una carrera llena de aventuras culinarias ha sabido revelar sobre las manos de nuestra protagonista. Sus platillos son un viaje alrededor del mundo, que no olvidan los insumos ni los orígenes mexicanos.

Alex Torres

ALEX TORRES

ENVERO | VALLE DE GUADALUPE, MX

Chef owner of the Envero restaurant located in the Las Nubes winery in the Valle de Guadalupe. He works side by side with his partner, the chef Fabiola Aceves, creating a space for honest cooking, where together they honor the produce of the region. Envero is a field kitchen where the flavor of firewood is always present.

Before starting his own project, Alex worked as head chef for acclaimed chef Benito Molina in his restaurant Manzanilla in Ensenada, and also in his most recent project, La Revolución in San José del Cabo. During his training he spent time in foreign restaurants such as the Lysverket restaurant in Bergen, Norway, and the 8100 located at the Park Hyatt in Beavercreek.

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Chef propietario del restaurante Envero en el Valle, ubicado en la vinícola de Las Nubes en el Valle de Guadalupe. Trabaja en conjunto con su pareja la chef Fabiola Aceves, creando una cocina honesta donde se le hace homenaje al producto de la región, es una cocina campestre donde el sabor a leña siempre está presente.

Antes de iniciar su proyecto Alex, trabajó como jefe de cocina para el aclamado chef Benito Molina en su restaurante Manzanilla, en Ensenada, y en su más reciente proyecto La Revolución, en San José del Cabo. En su formación pasó por cocinas internacionales como el restaurante Lysverket en Bergen, Noruega y el 8100 ubicado en el Park Hyatt en Beavercreek.

Alfredo Villanueva

ALFREDO VILLANUEVA

VILLA TOREL | VALLE DE GUADALUPE, MX

Alfredo was born in Mexico City, and he is a graduate of Visual Arts in Monterrey. He opened his first restaurant in 1998, Botanero Santa Lucía, in a completely empirical venture. Being self-taught, with his talent and personality, he delved in the gastronomic scene. To complete his journey, he did many internships in different restaurants in Spain and the USA. Three years ago, an amazing opportunity presented itself to be at the head of a magical place, Villa Torel, in one of the properties of Santo Tomás Winery in Valle Guadalupe and explore and present what he calls, proximity cooking, that has captivated locals and visitors alike.

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Nació en la Ciudad de México y es graduado de Artes Visuales en Monterrey. Puso su primer restaurante en 1998, Botanero Santa Lucía, en una aventura completamente empírica. De manera autodidacta y con su talento y personalidad, se adentra en la escena gastronómica. Para completar su desarrollo hizo muchas prácticas en diversos restaurantes en España y EU. Hace tres años, le llega la oportunidad de tener a su cargo un lugar mágico, Villa Torel dentro de una de las propiedades de la emblemática vinícola Santo Tomás en Valle Guadalupe con una cocina de proximidad que lo ha convertido en uno de los lugares favoritos de locales y visitantes.

Andoney García

ANDONEY GARCÍA

MUELLE 3 | ENSENADA, MX

Chef Andoney García began cooking professionally in 1999 and has dedicated his life and career to honoring products of the sea. Currently Chef de Cuisine of the Muelle 3, a casual seafood restaurant located next to Ensenada’s famed seafood market, Mercado Negro. Andoney was born in Ciudad del Carmen, in the state of Campeche, but has adopted Ensenada as his home.

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Andoney García es un Chef que ha dedicado su vida y carrera a honrar los frutos del mar. Empezó a cocinar profesionalmente en 1999, y su paso por diversas cocinas de la zona lo llevó a dónde ha crecido y ha podido presentar platillos de su inspiración, Muelle 3, un restaurante casual al lado del famoso Mercado Negro de Ensenada dónde actualmente es Chef de cocina. Es originario de Ciudad del Carmen Campeche, pero ha hecho de Ensenada, su hogar.

Andrés Trujillo

ANDRÉS TRUJILLO

TOBA / JACO | VALLE DE GUADALUPE, MX

Andrés Trujillo identifies himself as cooking with a french based style, he is a determined and dedicated executive chef, capable of satisfying the most demanding diners. He was born in Caracas and went on to study international business in Florida, from where he returned with the call of the culinary vocation that he got from his maternal grandmother. While studying cooking, he knocked on Alto’s door in Caracas Venezuela, where he discovered the world of haute cuisine in an internship that helped him fall in love with the profession and the world of restaurants. With Alto’s international experience, he sought new horizons in Mexico City, and arrived at Máximo Bistrot, owned by Chef Eduardo García. Working there he was awarded a specialization internship at Lyle’s restaurant in London, from where he returned with a renewed vision having experienced the level of service and operation of European restaurants.

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Identificado con un estilo de base francesa, Andrés Trujillo es un chef ejecutivo resuelto y dedicado, capaz de satisfacer a los comensales más exigentes. Nació en Caracas y fue a cursar negocios internacionales a Florida, de donde regresó con el llamado de la vocación culinaria que le transmitió su abuela materna. Mientras estudiaba cocina, llamó a la puerta de Alto en Caracas Venezuela, donde descubrió el mundo de la alta cocina en un periodo de prácticas que le sirvió para enamorarse del oficio y el mundo de los restaurantes. Con la experiencia internacional de Alto, buscó nuevos horizontes en Ciudad de México, y llegó a Maximo Bistrot, del Chef Eduardo García. Allí obtuvo una estancia de especialización en el restaurante Lyle’s de Londres, de donde regresó con una visión renovada por el nivel de servicio y operación de los restaurantes europeos.

Angelo Dal Bon

ANGELO DAL BON

TRE GALLINE | VALLE DE GUADALUPE, MX

Nació en el restaurante de su abuela Constantina en un pintoresco pueblo en el Lago de Garda, Italia. Se trasladó a México con Magda su esposa, para recuperarse de un desafortunado momento, la pérdida de su restaurante a causa de un terremoto. México lo recibe con los brazos abiertos, primero en Todos Santos y algunos años después en Valle de Guadalupe, trayendo consigo los sabores, aromas y recetas de  su trayectoria gastronómica. En Italia es miembro del movimiento Slow food y organiza múltiples eventos para respaldar la gastronomía de su región. 

 En el Valle de Guadalupe encuentra productos similares a los de su tierra natal que lo ayudan a trabajar con los sabores que siempre lo han acompañado, construyendo un rincón de verdadera cocina italiana, específicamente de su lugar de origen. Cabe recalcar que sin la ayuda de su esposa Magda, su hijo Constantino y su mano derecha Iván, nada hubiese sido posible.

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Nació en el restaurante de su abuela Constantina en un pintoresco pueblo en el Lago de Garda, Italia. Se trasladó a México con Magda su esposa, para recuperarse de un desafortunado momento, la pérdida de su restaurante a causa de un terremoto. México lo recibe con los brazos abiertos, primero en Todos Santos y algunos años después en Valle de Guadalupe, trayendo consigo los sabores, aromas y recetas de  su trayectoria gastronómica. En Italia es miembro del movimiento  “Slow food” y organiza múltiples eventos para respaldar la gastronomía de su región. 

 En el Valle de Guadalupe encuentra productos similares a los de su tierra natal que lo ayudan a trabajar con los sabores que siempre lo han acompañado, construyendo un rincón de verdadera cocina italiana, específicamente de su lugar de origen. Cabe recalcar que sin la ayuda de su esposa Magda, su hijo Constantino y su mano derecha Iván, nada hubiese sido posible.

Anthony Petracca

ANTHONY PETRACCA

DATONI | ENSENADA, MX

Born in San Francisco, California, into a family that made good eating and good drinking a way of life and strengthening ties.

His training in gastronomy took place as he passed through kitchens in different countries, where luck brought him to the right place at the right time.

He planned to open his own restaurant in California, but in one of his visits to the Mexican border, he arrived in Ensenada long before the local gastronomic boom, and fell in love with this port. Today at the helm of Datoni restaurant, Anthony is a great host who’s great at breaking the ice with his style, and at the same time, at being zealous of his dishes and proud of his attention to detail, like any worldly chef.

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Nació en San Francisco, California, en una familia que hacía del buen comer y el buen beber, una forma de bien vivir y de fortalecer lazos.

Su formación en la gastronomía se dio a su paso por las cocinas de distintos países, donde la suerte lo puso en el lugar exacto y en el momento indicado.

Planeaba abrir su restaurante propio en California, pero en una de sus visitas a la frontera con México, llegó a Ensenada cuando aún no iniciaba el boom de la cocina local y se enamoró de este puerto.

Hoy al frente de Datoni restaurant, Anthony es un gran anfitrión que sabe romper el hielo con su estilo, aunque se muestre celoso de sus platillos y orgulloso de su cuidado al detalle, como todo chef de mundo.

Bianca Castro-Cerio

​​BIANCA CASTRO-CERIO

ByBiaNca Bakery | 

With over 22 years of experience, Bianca Castro-Cerio, based in the capital of Baja California, Mexicali, is one of the most important gastronomic figures in the state.  Bianca trained at the Culinary Art School, in Tijuana, and Espaisucre and has continuously worked to promote the gastronomy and natural resources of her state.

She is the owner of ByBianca Bakery, where she is known for her amazing range of techniques for specialty cakes. She has designed dessert menus, spectacular wedding cakes, and is a supplier to several restaurants, where she presents all the techniques she handles. In recent years Bianca has ventured into grilled desserts, being the only woman competing in the National and World BBQ in the US and acting as firemaster, in the Sociedad Mexicana de Parrilleros.

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Bianca Castro-Cerio es una de las figuras más relevantes de la gastronomía y repostería de Baja California. Bianca empezó como aprendiz de su abuela italiana, con la que fundó originalmente un negocio familiar hace más de 22 años. Siguió capacitándose en lugares como el Culinary Art School de Tijuana y el Espaisucre, entre otros, y se ha dedicado continuamente a promover el producto regional y su Estado de origen. 

Es propietaria de ByBiaNca Bakery donde es conocida por la gran diversidad de técnicas que maneja para pasteles especiales. Bianca ha diseñado menús de postre, pasteles de bodas espectaculares, y es proveedora de varios restaurantes, en los que muestra la diversidad de técnicas de repostería que maneja. En los últimos años incursionó en postres en parrilla, siendo la única mujer compitiendo en el Nacional y mundial de BBQ en E.U. y siendo firemaster de la Sociedad mexicana de Parrilleros.

Brian Redzikowski

BRIAN REDZIKOWSKI

Lauded chef, Brian Redzikowski has led a prolific career, cooking in high-profile kitchens throughout the United States and providing his unique perspective on classic French techniques and Asian flavors. The native New Yorker currently oversees kitchen operations and creative menu development for all seven concepts under the SDCM umbrella, a boundary pushing hospitality collective based in Southern California. 

Developing his talent early on in a family of chefs from Long Island, Brian started washing dishes in a restaurant in upstate New York and was instantly hooked. He later attended The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park on a scholarship from Wine Spectator where he graduated first in his class with high honors. During his schooling, he completed an externship at New York City’s acclaimed Le Cirque, as well as monthly stages at Alain Ducasse and Le Bernardin

Post-graduation led to extended time off visiting family in Aspen, where Brian ended up joining his brother in the kitchen as Chef de Cuisine at Nobu Matsuhisa. A mere eight months later, Brian was running the kitchen. After three years at Nobu, he moved west to Las Vegas to accept a Sous Chef position at Joël Robuchon at the Mansion inside the MGM Grand. During Brian’s tenure, the restaurant was honored with the prestigious Three Star Michelin rating as well as numerous global best restaurant awards. He transitioned down The Strip to help oversee the opening of acclaimed Chef Akira Back’s Japanese restaurant and lounge, Yellowtail, at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino, eventually being invited to compete with the chef in Iron Chef America in 2008. 

The lure to the West Coast brought Brian to Los Angeles where he was tapped as Executive Chef of Bond St. at the renowned Thompson Hotel in Beverly Hills, overseeing a team responsible for 24-hour dining service for the 107-room hotel. With stints in Beverly Hills and eventually Flavor Del Mar in San Diego County, Brian eventually joined the SDCM group in 2014 as the opening Executive Chef of Kettner Exchange, in San Diego’s Little Italy. 

With an expanded role as Culinary Director of SDCM, Brian is responsible for sustaining and elevating culinary offerings for all current and future SDCM projects up and down the San Diego County coastline while flexing his artistic training in French and Japanese cuisines in the process. Since Fall 2020, SDCM has opened the Mediterranean-style Waverly in Cardiff-by-the-Sea and the Yucatán-inspired Camino Riviera in San Diego’s Little Italy. Both stretched Brian’s usual focus of progressive American cuisine with French and Asian influences into other global arenas. His menus are serious but approachable and draw inspiration from everything from Taco Bell to McDonald’s, his favorite fast-food chains. 

Brian’s trajectory as a nationally recognized chef has seen him competing in Iron Chef America, cooking at the James Beard House in New York City, throwing down on Beating Bobby Flay, earning a coveted Michelin Bib Gourmand award at Kettner Exchange, being crowned the “king of pork” at the national Grand Cochon competition, and cooking regularly at Outstanding in the Field dinners, among others. 

His philosophy as a chef is one of responsibility. Responsibility to the business. The world. To the farmers, fisheries, and butchers. And of course, responsibility to the guests.

Burt Bakman

BURT BAKMAN

SLAB BBQ | 

In 2016, Burt Bakman disrupted the Los Angeles culinary scene with Trudy’s Underground Barbecue, the Texas-style BBQ joint running out of his Studio City backyard. Bakman built a reputation from his skill at the smoker and an obsessive Instagram following among foodies around the world.

Burt has since traveled the world, spreading the spirit of barbecue with some of the worlds best, all while developing the deepest relationship with fire and its elegance. A romance that lasts a lifetime.

Carolina Jiménez

CAROLINA JIMÉNEZ

PRIMITIVO | VALLE DE GUADALUPE, MX

She is a native of Tampico, Tamaulipas, on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. She studied in Le Cordon Bleu Mexico, and she has worked in restaurant kitchens such as “Corazón de Tierra” in Valle de Guadalupe, “Maximo Bistrot” in CDMX, among others. In 2019, together with her partner, she started and founded the “Primitivo Restaurante” project in Valle de Guadalupe, where she has developed an interesting culinary and environmental experience. It’s a place where she has been able to portray her passion and love for cooking with firewood.

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Es originaria de las costas del Golfo de México, de Tampico, Tamaulipas. Estudió en Le Cordon Bleu México y ha trabajado en cocinas de restaurantes como Corazón de Tierra en Valle de Guadalupe y Máximo Bistrot en CDMX, entre otros. En el año 2019 inició y fundó junto a su socio, el proyecto de Primitivo Restaurante en el Valle de Guadalupe, en donde ha desarrollado una interesante experiencia culinaria y de entorno. Es un lugar en el que ha plasmado su pasión y corazón por la cocina de leña.

Carolina Verdugo & Miguel Bahena

CAROLINA VERDUGO & MIGUEL BAHENA

MADRE | ENSENADA, MX

Our chefs met while studying gastronomy at the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, and then both of them joined the team at Manzanilla Restaurant, by Benito Molina and Solange Muris. Miguel continued in several kitchens such as Deckman’s and Bestia in L.A, California, while Carolina continued as chef de cuisine in Silvestre, the first country kitchen in the Valle de Guadalupe, managed by  the Molinas. After a few years of training, they decided to open their first project called Pacifico Restaurant dedicated only to the sea, but then they moved to the house which would become Madre, a restaurant dedicated to the whole produce of Baja California.

“In Madre we transforme creatively and respectfully the diversity of the produce of the region. In our kitchen you will always find the highest quality of produce of the sea and ranches of Baja California, cooked with the best techniques, respect and love that each of them deserve.”

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Nuestros chefs se conocieron al estudiar gastronomía en la Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, para luego formar parte del equipo del restaurante Manzanilla de Benito Molina y Solange Muris. Miguel continuó por varias cocinas como Deckmans y Restaurante Bestia en Los Angeles, California, mientras Carolina continuó como jefe de cocina en Silvestre, restaurante campestre de los Molina. Después de unos años de formación, decidieron abrir su primer proyecto llamado Pacifico restaurante dedicado únicamente al mar, para luego mudarse a la casa que se convertiría en Madre, un restaurante dedicado al producto de Baja California.

En Madre nos encargamos de transformar de manera creativa y respetuosa la diversidad del producto de la región. En nuestra cocina siempre encontrarás la más alta calidad del producto del mar y de los campos de Baja California, cocinados con las mejores técnicas, respeto y amor que merece cada uno de ellos.

Christian Herrera

CHRISTIAN HERRERA

AS DE GUIA | ENSENADA, MX

Chef Christian Herrera uses his childhood memories, taste memories, local products, and everything that Mexico has to offer; on the other hand, he feels extremely lucky to live in this region so rich in great wine, olive oil and produce from sea and land. His favorite ingredients are all kinds of chili peppers and smoke.

The chef began to work with the local fishermen looking for alternatives to his cuisine. His love of the ocean, his passion for flavor and the hours of reflection, as well as his fertile action in the search of great produce, gave him the boost to come up with an honest project rooted in his own land. In AS DE GUÍA, with its Gastro Fonda concept, Christian seeks the interaction of kitchen and dining room. He is committed to the use of products and ingredients of responsible origin.

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El chef Herrera interpreta la gastronomía de México retomando recuerdos gustativos, memorias de su niñez, producto local, y utilizando mucho de lo que nos aporta nuestro México lindo y querido, por otro lado, se siente tan afortunado de vivir en esta región tan rica en buen vino, aceite de oliva y nuestro producto de mar y tierra. Sus ingredientes favoritos son chiles en general y el humo.

El chef comenzó a trabajar con los pescadores buscando alternativas a su cocina, su amor al mar, su pasión por el sabor y las horas de reflexión, así como la acción fértil en la búsqueda de productos, le dieron alas para llegar a un proyecto honesto y con raíz en su propia tierra.

AS DE GUÍA, usa el concepto de Gastro Fonda, donde busca la interacción de la cocina y el comedor. Le apuesta al uso de productos e ingredientes de origen responsable.

Daniel Horn

DANIEL HORN

CUYAMA BUCKHORN | 

Executive Chef Daniel Horn oversees the food and beverage program at Cuyama Buckhorn in New Cuyama, CA, where he unites both local and global flavors to highlight the local farmland bounty of the area. Horn remains devoted to reimagining the abundant local products of the region through his straightforward yet approachable dishes, which keep simplicity and quality at the forefront.

Horn joined the remote, undiscovered New Cuyama property shortly after the resort’s reveal, following years of renovations. Horn has helped champion the restored resort’s mission of putting the bountiful and serene region on the map by highlighting the various cultures of the unique area, which include Chumash, Hispanic, and ranchero, as well as the rich history of the valley and the iconic establishment. With his philosophy of “keep it simple,” Horn uses his thoughtful menus to help prompt guests to naturally fall in love with the valley in which the retro-chic resort rests. Keeping this in mind, he has established close relationships with the local farmers of the area to source fresh, high-quality ingredients for Cuyama Buckhorn. 

Guests have the opportunity to experience his locally-focused approach with creative dishes that are both familiar an unexpected, such as The Valley Burger featuring local Cuyama Wagyu beef and Cuyama Valley cheese and organic free-range egg, and his Cuyama Valley Lamb Chili special featuring locally-produced lamb and regional Rancho Gordo Pinquito Beans, as well as rotating seasonal produce-forward dishes, such as his cauliflower soup which Horn says is “comforting and flavorful without fuss.” Horn also takes pride in utilizing the regional cooking techniques of Central CA, including smoking the Buckhorn Restaurant’s meats over the property’s iconic red oak grill for authentic Santa Maria-style cuisine. “I want guests to experience the valley through our food,” Horn says. “And I want to give them another reason to be eager to return.”

David Nishikawa

DAVID G. NISHIKAWA

LA COCEDORA DE LANGOSTA | ENSENADA, MX

Founding partner of La Cocedora de Langosta, a space that specializes in offering live seafood from the region, especially abalone, lobster and a wide range of molluscs, all of them, harvested or captured on the coasts of Baja California.

Currently, in partnership with Vinicola Casa Righetti, he has opened Asador Campestre in the Ojos Negros Valley, where they offer an array of dishes that by strict rule have to be prepared over firewood, always seeking originality and respecting the character of the ingredient, be it meat or seafood.

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Es socio fundador del Restaurante La Cocedora de Langosta, que se especializa en ofrecer mariscos vivos de la región, en especial, abulón, langosta y una amplia gama de moluscos, buscando siempre que sean cosechados o capturados en las costas de Baja California. 

Actualmente en sociedad con la Vinícola Casa Righetti, desarrolla Asador Campestre en el Valle de Ojos Negros, en donde se ofrecen una variedad de platillos que por regla estricta deben ser preparados a la leña, buscando siempre la originalidad en su propuesta y respetando el carácter del ingrediente, ya sean carnes o mariscos.

David Castro Hussong & Maribel Aldaco

DAVID CASTRO HUSSONG & MARIBEL ALDACO

FAUNA | VALLE DE GUADALUPE, MX

Born in Ensenada, a graduate of the French Culinary Institute in CA, David comes from a culinary family background. At the young age of 13, he began his cooking experience at the Hotel Punta Morro with Chef Juan Antonio Hussong, and went on to cook at Sano’s Steak House by Juan Hussong, and later, at Laja by Jaír Téllez.

His passion for cooking continued, and after graduating high school, he decided to move to San Diego, where he worked in Barbarella’s and El Take It Easy.

Seeking new experiences he moved to Copenhagen where he spent months as a trainee at Noma, awarded numerous times the title of Best Restaurant worldwide. In 2013, he moved to NY and worked for Chef Dan Barber at Blue Hill, and years later for Chef Daniel Humm at Eleven Madison Park, awarded 3 Michelin stars. In 2017 opportunity comes for opening as a partner and Executive Chef, Fauna, the famed restaurant in Bruma Winery in Valle de Guadalupe.

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Nacido en Ensenada, graduado del French Culinary Institute en CA, viene de una familia del ámbito culinario. A sus cortos 13 años empieza su recorrido en cocinas en el Hotel Punta Morro con el Chef Juan Antonio Hussong, sigue en Sano’s Steak House de Juan Hussong y después Laja de Jaír Téllez. Mantuvo un gran interés por la cocina y al graduarse de preparatoria, decide mudarse a San Diego donde trabajaría en Barbarella’s y El Take It Easy.

Buscando nuevas experiencias se muda a Copenhague y pasa meses como aprendiz en Noma, nombrado varías veces mejor restaurante del mundo. En 2013, continúa su carrera en NY, trabajando para el Chef Dan Barber en Blue Hill, y años después para el Chef Daniel Humm en Eleven Madison Park que cuenta con 3 estrellas Michelin. En 2017 tiene la oportunidad de abrir como socio y Chef Ejecutivo, Fauna dentro de la vinícola Bruma en el Valle de Guadalupe.

Edgar Ramírez

EDGAR RAMÍREZ

LA CORRIENTE NAIS | 

Edgar Ramírez is a Mexican cook with more than 20 years of experience. He is currently the Executive Chef of Grupo La Corriente, a restaurant group born in Tijuana, a favorite of locals and visitors alike. He is responsible for bringing the flavors and recipes of the brand to the different cities in Mexico where the group has a presence. His mission, to conquer the palate of its guests with its Baja-style seafood cuisine.

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Edgar Ramírez es un cocinero mexicano con más de 20 años de experiencia. Actualmente es el Chef Ejecutivo de Grupo La Corriente que nació en Tijuana. Es el responsable de llevar los sabores y recetas de la marca a las diferentes ciudades de México en donde el grupo tiene presencia. Su misión, conquistar el paladar de sus comensales con su cocina de mariscos al estilo Baja.

Ellen Marie Bennett

ELLEN MARIE BENNETT

BIO As a 24-year-old line cook, Ellen Marie Bennett couldn’t stand the kitchen staff’s poorly designed, cheaply made aprons. So when her head chef announced he was ordering a new batch, she blurted out, “Chef, I have an apron company”—even though she had no company, no business plan—just a glimmer of a design idea and a business license. Through hustle and a willingness to leap into the unknown, time and time again, she built that first order into a multi-million-dollar company called Hedley & Bennett, making aprons and kitchen gear worn by many of the world’s best chefs and home cooks everywhere.

Erik Aronow

ERIK ARONOW

PUESTO | SAN DIEGO, CA

Born in Los Angeles and raised in the San Fernando Valley, Chef Erik Aronow has spent the past 15 years honing his skills at a handful of Los Angeles’ most revered, innovative and finest dining institutions.

After attending Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena, where he studied both savory and pastry techniques, Aronow had an early, impactful stint at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro in Beverly Hills. He later found himself in the kitchens at Red Medicine, Republique, Ink and, most recently, the boundary pushing Destroyer. He spent time under Top Chef Michael Voltaggio while at Ink before finding a pivotal mentor in Jordan Kahn, the singular chef at Destroyer who went on to open Vespertine.

It was while working with Kahn that Aronow decided to solely pursue pastry as his specialty. Kahn taught Aronow that pastry is more than creating a dish with sweet flavors – it’s a balance between extremes. While under Kahn as Executive Sous Chef at Destroyer, a plant focused fine dining restaurant, Aronow pushed limits, questioned the norm and found inspiration in art, color palettes and life experiences.

Aronow moved to San Diego in the fall of 2018 to lead Puesto’s dynamic pastry program as its executive pastry chef, signaling a significant gain to the city’s culinary talent. Fascinated by regional and ethnic cuisines, Aronow will create desserts for Puesto with a focus on traditional techniques utilizing indigenous Mexican ingredients. While he is based in San Diego, he will travel to all Puesto locations throughout California to curate each menu.

Esteban Lluis

ESTEBAN LLUIS

DAMIANA | VALLE DE GUADALUPE, MX

Originally from Mexicali, B.C, Esteban graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in NY. He worked in various restaurants in California. His philosophy and style have positioned him as one of the most outstanding chefs in Baja California, promoting the gastronomy of the state and the country. At 24 years old, with his father, he undertook his first project, Mediterráneo, and 5 years later they went on to Ámbar, both had great acceptance. He built his career in the kitchens of Encuentro Guadalupe and Corazón de Tierra, and currently, his new personal project, Damiana, with an ever changing tasting menu.

He has attended festivals such as Pacific Cooks in Cabo San Lucas, Festival Internacional de Gastronomía en Puerto Vallarta/Nayarit, Baja Culinary Fest, and El Saber del Sabor in Oaxaca among others. His talent has led him to cook and promote Mexican cooking in Cyprus, England, the US, and Spain. His vision and interpretation have resulted in innovative proposals using modern and traditional techniques, thus developing his own identity based on the cuisine and products of his land.

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Originario de Mexicali, B.C. Egresó del Culinary Institute of América en NY. Trabajó en diversos restaurantes en California. Su filosofía y estilo lo han posicionado como uno de los cocineros más destacados de Baja California promoviendo la gastronomía del estado y del país. A sus 24 años con su padre, emprendió su primer proyecto, Mediterráneo y 5 años después continúan con Ámbar, ambos con gran aceptación. Su trayectoria, Encuentro Guadalupe y Corazón de Tierra y actualmente, su nuevo proyecto personal Damiana, todos ubicados en Valle de Guadalupe.

Participó en festivales como Pacific Cooks en Cabo San Lucas, Festival Internacional de Gastronomía en Puerto Vallarta/Nayarit, Baja Culinary Fest, y El Saber del Sabor en Oaxaca entre otros. Su talento lo llevó a cocinar y promover la cocina Mexicana en Chipre, Inglaterra, E.U., y España. Su visión e interpretación han desplegado propuestas nuevas utilizando técnicas modernas y tradicionales, desarrollando una identidad propia basada en la cocina y productos de su tierra.

Fabio Niebla

FABIO NIEBLA

SANA VEGANA | ENSENADA, MX

Fabio started his career at Manzanilla restaurant in Ensenada B.C. in 2004 under the tutelage of chef Benito Molina. He worked through the different areas until he became Silvestre ‘s master griller, the Molina’s woodfired cuisine in Valle de Guadalupe, for a couple of seasons. In 2009 he collaborated with the opening of La Cocedora de Langosta in Ensenada, and in 2013 with Molotov the band, they opened Tranquiloco, a restaurant in CDMX. He has also been part of several projects in Valle de Guadalupe, CDMX, Mazunte Oaxaca, Tijuana and Ensenada.

   His most recent project, Sana Vegana, based largely on fermentation, manages to harmonize familiar flavors of Mexican and Asian cuisines, with a simplicity and talent that allows the ingredients to shine on their own. His main goal, to expand conventional culinary horizons and always look for ways to make people happy.

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Comenzó su carrera en el restaurante Manzanilla en Ensenada, B.C. en el 2004, bajo la tutela del chef Benito Molina. Pasó varios años colaborando ahí y en el asador campestre que tenían en Valle de Guadalupe un par de temporadas. En 2009 colaboró con la apertura de La Cocedora de Langosta en Ensenada, y en 2013 junto con el grupo de rock Molotov abrieron Tranquiloco en CDMX. Ha participado en diversos proyectos en el Valle de Guadalupe, CDMX, Mazunte Oaxaca, Tijuana y Ensenada.

Su más reciente propuesta, Sana Vegana, basándose en buena parte en la fermentación, logra armonizar sabores familiares de la cocina mexicana y asiática, con sencillez y talento que permiten que los ingredientes brillen por sí solos. La meta principal, expandir los horizontes culinarios convencionales y buscar siempre maneras de hacer feliz a la gente.

Frank Ostini

Frank Ostini | Hitching Post II

Frank Ostini grew up in and around the Casmalia Hitching Post, his family’s steakhouse in central California, in operation since 1952. With high acclaim from an influential roster of international journalists and devoted fans, Frank has become the regional spokesman for what is popularly known as “Santa Maria Style BBQ,” a feast that features meats grilled over a red oak fire, and an honored ritual in the Santa Ynez Valley. Specializing in this traditional wood-fire barbecue, Frank has expanded the family’s original menu to cook most anything over the embers at his Hitching Post 2 in Buellton, California, including local vegetables, fish, poultry, pork and game in addition to the wide selection of the best quality beef in America, sourced from small packers in Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas, and aged to his specifications. 

Since 1984, Frank Ostini and partner Gray Hartley have also produced Hitching Post Wines, specializing in Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir. Both the restaurant and the winery received widespread international attention since they were featured in the Academy Award® winning film Sideways in 2004 which impacted both businesses. Today the winery has 1200 barrels and makes about 17,000 cases a year.  “When we started to make wine I had one purpose,” says Frank.  “To get good wine on my family restaurant’s table – wine that I produced.  Doing the food and wine is all I ever wanted to do, and it’s still all I ever really want to do.”

Frank has appeared on Food Network’s “Best Think I Ever Ate” and PBS’ “Project Fire” with BBQ Master and Author Steve Raichlen. The restaurant and wines have been featured in Gourmet, Newsweek, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Wine Spectator, Sunset, Santa Barbara Independent, Santa Barbara News Press, Los Angeles Magazine, Wine Enthusiast, Decanter, Zagat, Eater, and Thrillist, among others. 

Frank and his wife/ partner Jami live in Buellton and have two adult children.

Gabriela Cámara

GABRIELA CÁMARA

CONTRAMAR |

Born in Chihuahua, Gabriela grew up in Tepoztlán in a family of activists and academics, where food was always an important factor. Gabriela’s culinary career began with the opening of Contramar in 1998, inspired by the simple food of the Mexican Pacific beaches. Since then she has been a full-time entrepreneur and businesswoman in the restaurant industry, currently directing Grupo Contramar. Gabriela has opened different restaurants, in which she fuses culture, gastronomy and social responsibility. She has implemented social impact programs, such as the reintegration program that was carried out in her Cala restaurant. She is the author of the book, My Mexico City Kitchen: Recipes and Convictions, which contains 150 recipes from her kitchen inspired by the flavors and ingredients of Mexico City.

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Nacida en Chihuahua, Gabriela creció en Tepoztlán en el seno de una familia de activistas y académicos, en donde la comida siempre fue un factor importante. La carrera culinaria de Gabriela empezó con la apertura de Contramar en 1998, inspirada por la comida sencilla de las playas del Pacífico mexicano. Desde entonces ha sido emprendedora y empresaria de la industria restaurantera de tiempo completo, actualmente dirige Grupo Contramar. Gabriela ha abierto diferentes restaurantes, en éstos fusiona cultura, gastronomía y responsabilidad social. Ha implementado programas de impacto social, como el de reinserción que se llevó a cabo en su restaurante Cala. Es autora del libro, My Mexico City Kitchen: Recipes and Convictions, que contiene 150 recetas de su cocina inspirada por los sabores y los ingredientes de la Ciudad de México.

Genevieve Gergis & Ori Menashe

GENEVIEVE GERGIS & ORI MENASHE

BESTIA, BAVEL SAFFY’S | 

Although born in Los Angeles, Ori Menashe spent his formative years in Israel. Menashe grew up traveling with his family and was exposed to fine dining across the globe, but it wasn’t until his year-long sojourn to South America with friends, when he realized his passion for cooking.  

Menashe returned to Los Angeles in 2001 to pursue a culinary career. He landed his first kitchen job at an Israeli cafe and then subsequently took a job at La Terza, where Genevieve Gergis was a hostess and they met for the first time. From there, Menashe spent time in the kitchens of Nancy Silverton’s Pizzeria Mozza, All’ Angelo, and under legendary chef Gino Angelini at Angelini Osteria, where Menashe worked for four years as chef de cuisine.

In 2010, Menashe and Gergis pursued their dream of opening their first restaurant together, Bestia. Bestia is a multi-regional rustic Italian restaurant focusing on a “from scratch” approach, offering house-made charcuterie, in addition to handmade pastas and pizza.

In Spring 2018, Menashe and Gergis opened their second project Bavel, a Middle-Eastern restaurant just blocks away from Bestia. With family roots in Israel, Morocco, Turkey, and Egypt, Menashe and Gergis always wanted to open a restaurant that showcases the cuisine from their family lineage.  Bavel brings together the flavors and dishes they grew up with while adding a completely new perspective on the cuisine. 

In June, 2022, the duo opened their third project, Saffy’s. Named after Saffron, Ori and Genevieve’s daughter, Saffy’s embodies her whimsical spirit. It’s a Middle Eastern restaurant rooted in traditional flavors and executed using modern techniques. In this intimate space, you’ll be greeted by warm and energetic hospitality, flavors and dishes reminiscent of Middle-Eastern home-style cooking, and unexpected take on classic desserts.

When not in the kitchen, Menashe and Gergis can be found spending time with their daughter, Saffron.

Janina Garay

JANINA GARAY

CANNELLA | TIJUANA, MX

Graduated in 2011 from Culinary Art School in Tijuana, Janina is a recognized for the

sophistication of her cuisine, making products from scratch with a level of skill, precision and knowledge that make her food a joy for all palates. She has years of experience that she began cultivating in 2011 in the practical program of the Cenador de Amos restaurant in Spain, with three Michelin stars. In 2015, Janina joined the Addison restaurant team, the jewel in the crown in San Diego where French technique and cosmopolitan flavors attract crowds.

 At Topolobampo restaurant in Chicago, she found her new home to cultivate her culinary

wisdom. In this one Michelin star restaurant, she delighted with a kitchen full of mexican flavors that redirected her back to her roots. That cuisine returned Janina to the beginning: the US and Mexico border. In San Diego she worked at Bracero, by Chef Javier Plascencia, that in 2016 was named Best New Restaurant at the James Beard Foundation Awards.

With the same care that when she saw the preparation of her grandmother’s dishes, Janina takes the leap to independence with her current position as Culinary Director of Be Saha Hospitality Group, well-known for highlighting unexpected, artisanal spirits through concepts including San Diego’s first mezcalería, Tahona Bar in Old Town, and award-winning absinthe bar Wormwood in University Heights.

Jesús Saldívar

JESÚS SALDÍVAR

LAJA | VALLE DE GUADALUPE, MX

Born in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Jesús has worked in different renowned restaurants in Mexico with many renowned chefs. His cuisine has a distinct Oaxacan influence. Jesús came to Valle de Guadalupe a couple of years ago to add his flavors and creativity to Laja’s offer, hand in hand with chef Jaír Téllez. Laja, the first restaurant in the region is well known for having a farm to table approach, changes its menu daily to accommodate whatever the garden, or nearby farmers provide. Jesús’s cuisine is seasonal, and the reflection of what is home grown.

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Nacido en Monterrey, Nuevo León, Jesús es un cocinero que ha trabajado en distintos lugares reconocidos del país, a lado de muchos chefs reconocidos. Jesús muestra en su cocina una marcada influencia Oaxaqueña. Jesús llega al Valle de Guadalupe hace un par de años a sumar su sazón y creatividad a la oferta de Laja, el primer restaurante de la región, de la mano del chef Jaír Téllez. Laja, siempre se ha caracterizado por tener una cocina de huerto, cambiando su oferta día con día. La cocina de Jesús, es una cocina de temporada, reflejo directo de lo que se cultiva en casa.

Jonathan Ziehl

JONATHAN ZIEHL

BILLY BLANCO | ENSENADA, MX

Ensenada-born Jonathan Ziehl is an entrepreneur who is in love with cooking and the entire restaurant experience, he has had previous experience working in different restaurants in Valle de Guadalupe, Ojos Negros, Mexico City, and San Diego. Him and his partners have recently ventured in this small project that is quickly taking them to big places, Billy Blanco, an Ensenada-based little joint dedicated to showcasing a simple, but absolutely yummy classic cheeseburger.

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Ensenadense, gastrónomo y emprendedor, socio del proyecto Billy Blanco, con una propuesta de cheeseburger sencilla y clásica, pero absolutamente deliciosa, en el centro de Ensenada.

Amante de la cocina con experiencia de distintos restaurantes en Valle de Guadalupe, Ojos Negros, Ciudad de México y San Diego, Jonathan y sus socios, se aventuraron en este pequeño proyecto que los está llevando a grandes lugares en muy poco tiempo.

Marcelo Hisaki

MARCELO HISAKI

AMORES | TECATE, MX

He was born in Mexico City to Japanese parents who allowed him to explore a diversity of flavors, textures, ingredients and aromas from a very early age, thus combining his Mexican and Japanese culinary roots. His talent and discipline earned him a scholarship from the Turquois Foundation in Mexico City, and continued his studies in Monaco, he then went on to specialize in French cooking at the Hotel Monte Carlo Lyceum.

In 2013, chef Marcelo Hisaki and his wife, chef Reyna Venegas, opened the Amores restaurant in Tecate, Baja California. Its culinary concept is characterized by the mix of French, Mexican and Oriental culinary techniques, using local products from Baja California and married by excellent wines and artisanal beers from the region.

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Nació en CDMX de padres japoneses que le permitieron descubrir desde pequeño una diversidad de sabores, texturas, ingredientes y aromas, combinando las raíces culinarias mexicanas y japonesas.

Su talento y disciplina lo hizo merecedor de una beca otorgada por la fundación Turquois para continuar sus estudios en Mónaco y realizar una especialización de cocina francesa en el Liceo Hotelero de Monte Carlo.

En 2013 el chef Marcelo Hisaki junto con su esposa la chef Reyna Venegas, abrieron el restaurante Amores en Tecate, Baja California. Su concepto culinario se caracteriza por las mezclas de técnicas culinarias francesas, mexicanas y orientales, utilizando productos locales de la Baja California acompañados de excelentes vinos y cerveza artesanal de la región.

Maribel Aldaco

MARIBEL ALDACO

FAUNA | VALLE DE GUADALUPE, MX

Maribel Aldaco Silva, Mexican confectioner. She began her training 13 years ago working in restaurants such as Martín Berasategui, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, The Nomad, and Quince; these around Spain, New York and San Francisco.

She is currently Executive Pastry Chef of three restaurants, Fauna and Bruma Wine Garden in Valle de Guadalupe and LaMari in Mexico City.

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Maribel Aldaco Silva, repostera mexicana. Comenzó su formación hace 13 años trabajando en restaurantes como Martín Berasategui en España, Blue Hill at Stone Barns y The Nomad en Nueva York, y Quince en San Francisco.

Actualmente es Chef repostera ejecutiva de tres restaurantes, Fauna y Bruma Wine Garden en Valle de Guadalupe y LaMari en Ciudad de México.

 

 

 

Mario Peralta

MARIO PERALTA

JACO, TXOKO, LOS TACOS DEL KOSHY

Mario Peralta, a cook from Baja California and a spokesman for northern Mexican cuisine, with his culinary creations based on corn and moles, he offers his guests the flavors of all of Mexico adapted to the produce of Baja. A lover of produce of the sea and farms, he always surprises with his flavors that never go unnoticed. With his projects, Jaco de Cocina Mexicana, Txoko a Deli inspired by international flavors, and Tacos del Koshy a Tijuana-style taqueria, there will always be something new to discover in his cooking.

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Mario Peralta, cocinero de  Baja California, representante de la cocina norteña mexicana, con sus elaboraciones a base de maíz y moles ha llevado a sus comensales los sabores de todo México adaptados a los productos de Baja. Amante de los productos de mar y de las granjas, siempre sorprende con sus sabores que no pasan desapercibidos. Con sus proyectos Jaco de Cocina Mexicana, Txoko un Deli inspirado en sabores internacionales, y Tacos del Koshy una taquería estilo Tijuanense, siempre habrá algo nuevo que descubrir en su cocina.

Melissa Navarro

MELISSA NAVARRO

RAW OYSTER BAR | ENSENADA, MX

Melissa Navarro was born and raised in Ensenada, Baja California and has over 10 years of experience in various local kitchens. Now she is the chef and owner of Raw Oyster Bar, a concept that started in 2018 in the Valle de Guadalupe, but that as of 2020 changed its location to the city of Ensenada, to promote local products among locals, and prove that you can find good cooking both in the Valley and in the city.  Melissa uses seafood as the main ingredient in her kitchen,, and her passion for sharing this Ensenada gastronomic experience is so great that in recent months she has promoted the Fish your dinner and dine your fishing, so that her guests can live the experience of fishing and eating the freshest product served with local wines.

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Melissa Navarro nació y creció en Ensenada, Baja California y cuenta con más de 10 años de experiencia en diversas cocinas locales. Ahora es la chef y propietaria de Raw Oyster Bar, cocina que comenzó en 2018 en el Valle de Guadalupe pero que a partir de 2020 cambió su ubicación a la ciudad de Ensenada para promover el producto local entre los locales y demostrar que la buena cocina la encuentras tanto en el Valle como en la ciudad. Utiliza el producto del mar como ingrediente principal en su cocina y tanta es su pasión por compartir esta experiencia gastronómica ensenadense que en estos últimos meses ha promovido el Pesca la cena y cena la pesca para que sus comensales puedan vivir la experiencia de pescar y comer el producto más fresco acompañado de vinos de la región.

Moumen Nouri

MOUMEN NOURI

KOUS KOUS DEL VALLE | VALLE DE GUADALUPE, MX

Marrakesh native Moumen Nouri has proudly shared the food, aromas, and culture of his native Morocco since 1996. Chef.owner of Kous Kous del Valle, he brought the first Moroccan Restaurant to Valle de Guadalupe, expanding the offer of the region, and its visitors and locals alike, have welcomed him and his cooking with open arms.

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Chef/Propietario de Kous Kous Del Valle, un restaurante marroquí en el corazón del Valle de Guadalupe, que aporta algo distinto a la oferta de la región y que ha sido recibido por locales y visitantes con los brazos abiertos. Moumen Nouri nació y se crió en Marrakech y comparte con orgullo su comida, aromas y cultura marroquíes desde 1996.

Nancy Silverton

NANCY SILVERTON

PIZZERIA, OSTERIA MOZZA, MOZZA2GO, CHI SPACCA | LOS ANGELES

Nancy Silverton is the co-owner of Michelin-starred Osteria Mozza, as well as Pizzeria Mozza, Mozza2Go, chi SPACCA, Pizzette, and The Barish in Los Angeles. In the fall of 2020, Mozza opened in Los Cabos, Mexico and Pizzeria Mozza  opened in London. In 2022, Osteria Mozza will open in Singapore at the Hilton Orchard. 

In 2014, Nancy received the highest honor given by the James Beard Foundation for “Outstanding Chef.” That year, she was listed as one of the Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink by both Fortune and Food & Wine Magazine. In 2017, Nancy was profiled in an episode of Netflix’s award-winning docu-series Chef’s Table.

Nancy is the author of nine cookbooks including Desserts (1986), Breads from the La Brea Bakery (1996), Pastries from the La Brea Bakery (2000), Nancy Silverton’s Sandwich Book (2005), Twist of the Wrist (2007), the Mozza Cookbook (2011), Mozza at Home (2016) and chi SPACCA (2020). Nancy’s next baking cookbook will be released in 2023.

Nancy is active in fundraising for numerous charities including No Kid Hungry and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation in Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

Neal Fraser

NEAL FRASER

RED BIRD |

Chef Neal Fraser, with business partner/wife Amy Knoll Fraser, currently own and operate critically acclaimed Redbird and high-volume special events and performing arts venue Vibiana. Located in downtown Los Angeles, Redbird is Fraser’s flagship, where he showcases his signature sensibility of refined yet approachable modern American cuisine, influenced by his native city.

The restaurant has received many accolades, including a coveted spot on Los Angeles Times’ Jonathan Gold’s 101 Best Restaurant List. Outside of the restaurants, Fraser has appeared on Bravo TV’s ‘Top Chef Masters,’ Fox’s ‘Hell’s Kitchen,’ and Food Network’s ‘Iron Chef America,’ and ‘Beat Bobby Flay.’ Prior to Redbird and Vibiana, Fraser and Knoll Fraser opened two of Los Angeles’ most beloved restaurants – Grace and BLD.

 

Omar Valenzuela

OMAR VALENZUELA

CÉLIDA CAFÉ | ENSENADA, MX

Omar Valenzuela is an Ensenada-based chef whose passion lies in wood-fire cooking, breakfast, and coffee. He currently owns Célida Café in downtown Ensenada. He was recently recognized as a Best New Chef  by Food & Wine en español.

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Omar Valenzuela es un chef Ensenadense con pasión por la cocina de leña, los desayunos y el café. Actualmente dueño de Célida Café en el centro de Ensenada y fue recientemente nombrado uno de los Best new chefs por la revista Food & Wine en español.

Reyna Venegas

REYNA VENEGAS

LA COCINA QUE CANTA | TECATE, MX

Reyna prepares fresh and delicious food that energizes, inspires, and nourishes guests. She fuses the culinary and cultural heritages of her own Northern Baja roots, with the nutritious “spa cuisine” pioneered 80 years ago by Rancho La Puerta’s co-founder Deborah Szekely. At La Cocina Que Canta, “The Kitchen That Sings,” Chef Reyna teaches healthy eating as a celebration of life in farm-to-table cooking classes. 

Always eager to learn, Chef Reyna is currently studying the Integrative Nutrition program at San Diego’s California University, that focuses on how food can promote wellness. She is also a graduate of the Culinary Art School in Tijuana, and holds a Pastry Degree from the Lycée Technique et Hôtelier de Monte-Carlo and the Fundación Turquois. 

She and her husband Chef Marcelo Hisaki own Restaurante Amores, a hidden culinary jewel in Tecate, in the heart of Baja, and also run the Instituto Culinario Técnico, the first culinary school also, in Tecate.

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Reyna prepara comida fresca y deliciosa que energiza, inspira y nutre a los comensales. Ella fusiona las herencias culinarias y culturales de sus propias raíces del norte de Baja California con la nutritiva “cocina de spa” iniciada hace 80 años por la cofundadora de Rancho La Puerta, Deborah Szekely. En La Cocina Que Canta, la chef Reyna enseña alimentación saludable como una celebración de vida, en clases de cocina, de la granja a la mesa.

Siempre aprendiendo, la Chef estudia Nutrición Integrativa en la Universidad de California en San Diego, que se enfoca en el rol fundamental de la comida en el bienestar. Es egresada de la Escuela de Arte Culinario de Tijuana, y tiene una Licenciatura en Pastelería del Lycée Technique et Hôtelier de Monte-Carlo y Fondation Turquois.

Ella y su esposo, el chef Marcelo Hisaki, son dueños del Restaurante Amores, una joya culinaria escondida en el corazón de B.C.; y del Instituto Culinario Técnico, la primera escuela culinaria en Tecate.

Rick Bayless

RICK BAYLESS

FRONTERA GRILL , TOPOLOBAMPO, XOCO, TORTAS FRONTERA, LEÑA BRAVA | CHICAGO

Most people know him from winning the title of Bravo’s Top Chef Master beating out the French and Italian with his authentic Mexican cuisine.  His highly rated on-going Public Television Series, Mexico—One Plate at a Time can be found on television sets coast to coast, as well as  his award-winning, seven cookbooks. In 2012, Rick was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Best Culinary Host.

His side by side award-winning restaurants in Chicago were founded in 1987.  The casual Frontera Grill and the 4-star Topolobampo. In 2007, Frontera Grill won for Outstanding Restaurant by the James Beard Organization.   His award-winning Frontera line of salsas, grilling sauces and organic chips can be found coast to coast.

Rick Bayless has won James Beard awards for:  Midwest Chef of the Year, National Chef of the Year and Humanitarian of the Year. Bayless opened his third restaurant:  XOCO—a quick serve LEED certified restaurant featuring house-ground chocolate and wood grilled tortas. This year, Tortas Frontera opened in Terminal 1 & Terminal 3 at Chicago’s Ohare airport and in downtown Chicago at the Chase Building.

In 2016 he opened Leña Brava, a wood-fired seafood restaurant, and the adjacent Cruz Blanca Cervecería, which focuses on craft beer and Oaxacan-style tacos. Also in 2016, Rick won the prestigious Julia Child Award.  In 2017, his restaurant Topolobampo won the James Beard award for Outstanding Restaurant in the nation.

Roberto de Anda

ROBERTO DE ANDA

LA CONCHERÍA | ENSENADA, MX

Roberto C. de Anda, the chef at La Conchería, fell in love with fish and seafood working as a cook at Four Seasons Resort in Punta Mita. He came to Ensenada 14 years ago to dedicate his career to seafood cuisine, working at Manzanilla, La Cocedora de Langosta and at the Mega Yacht Beauport, before joining the team at La Conchería, a small but incredibly tasty seafood restaurant in the beautiful Santo Tomás Plaza in downtown Ensenada.

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Roberto C. de Anda, chef de La Conchería, se enamoró del pescado y marisco trabajando como cocinero en Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, bajo las órdenes del Chef Jorge González y Hervé Fucho. Llegó hace 14 años a Ensenada para dedicar su carrera a la cocina de mar, y ha colaborado en Manzanilla, La Cocedora de Langosta, y en el Mega Yate Beauport.

Ruffo Ibarra

RUFFO IBARRA

ORYX RESTAURANTE Y NÓRTICO | TIJUANA, MX

Chef-Owner of Oryx Restaurant and Nórtico in Tijuana, Ruffo Ibarra is a native of Tijuana and his cuisine, including a famed black fish taco, is a playful reflection of the local cuisine and ingredients. Ruffo has worked in renowned restaurants such as the 3 Michelin-starred Cenador de Amos and Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana, twice-named as the best restaurant in the world. When he is not in the kitchen, Ruffo has worked for charitable causes including Chef Jose Andrés’s World Central Kitchen, and the Los Angeles-based This Is About Humanity.

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Chef propietario de Oryx Restaurante y Nórtico, Ruffo Ibarra es originario de Tijuana y su cocina, incluyendo un famoso taco de pescado negro, es un reflejo juguetón de la cocina local y sus ingredientes. Ha trabajado en distintos restaurantes reconocidos, como lo son Cenador de Amos, con 3 estrellas Michelin y Osteria Francescana, nombrado dos veces como mejor restaurante del mundo al mando del chef Massimo Bottura. Cuando no está en la cocina, también ha colaborado con el Chef José Andrés en sus proyectos a beneficio, World Central Kitchen y This Is About Humanity.

Ryan Steyn

RYAN STEYN

SKY CATERING | VALLE DE GUADALUPE, MX

Sky Catering is a 100% family business run by Chef Ryan Steyn and Susan Monsalve. Celebrating 13 years together and many gastronomic achievements. With the strength of their love and passion for cooking, they have managed to position themselves as one of the best catering companies in Baja California. Focused solely on the food of your special event, thus guaranteeing it to be a great experience. Sky Catering specializes in weddings, events, private dinners and catering to go, personalized menus, consultancies, as well as catering for the film industry.

Love / Passion / Kitchen

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Sky Catering es una empresa 100% familiar dirigida por el Chef Ryan Steyn y Susan Monsalve. Celebrando 13 años juntos y muchos logros gastronómicos. Con la fuerza de su amor y pasión por la cocina han logrado posicionarse como una de las mejores empresas de catering en Baja California. Enfocados únicamente en la comida de tu evento especial así garantizando que sea una gran experiencia. Sky Catering se especializa en bodas, eventos, cenas privadas y catering para llevar, menús personalizados, asesorías, así como catering para la industria del cine.

Amor / Pasión / Cocina

Sandra Vázquez

SANDRA VÁZQUEZ

LA MESTIZA | TIJUANA, MX

Sandra is passionate about her Michoacán roots that have mainly influenced her cooking. A former student of the Culinary Art School, she went on to get a Master’s Degree in Cuisines of Mexico. She began her career in Guadalajara, Jalisco in hospitality, at the Hilton, and later continued to several restaurants that served contemporary Mexican cuisine. She started her own project in 2013, as Chef and co-owner of the Mexican food restaurant La Mestiza in Tijuana, B.C. Currently, she works in Once Pueblos in the Valle de Guadalupe, where her goal is to continue rescuing and spreading the enjoyment of traditional Mexican cuisines that have been forgotten, and sharing them with mostly, foreign diners. She shares a no rules kitchen project with her husband, La Medina, a terrace also in the Valle de Guadalupe, whose main concept is creativity, firewood and fresh local ingredients. And to complement all this, they are starting to make their own wine with the Sierra Vita winery, host to Once Pueblos.

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Apasionada de sus raíces michoacanas que han influenciado principalmente su cocina, ex alumna de Culinary Art School, siguió con la Maestría en Cocinas de México. Inició su carrera en Guadalajara, Jalisco en hotelería, en el Hilton y después en diversos restaurantes de cocina mexicana contemporánea. Desde 2013 inició su propio proyecto como Chef y co-propietaria del restaurante de cocina mexicana La Mestiza en Tijuana, B.C. Actualmente, trabaja en “Once Pueblos” Valle de Guadalupe, donde su objetivo es continuar la difusión de la cocina tradicional mexicana, rescatar el placer de las cocinas tradicionales que se han olvidado, y  compartirlas con comensales en su mayoría extranjeros. Comparte un proyecto con su esposo de cocina libre, La Medina, terraza en Valle de Guadalupe cuyo concepto principal es creatividad, leña  e ingredientes frescos locales, y están iniciando la elaboración de su propio vino con la vinícola Sierra Vita que alberga Once Pueblos.

Sebastián Zavala

SEBASTIÁN ZAVALA

CORAZÁ | VALLE DE GUADALUPE

Chef Sebastian Zavala’s love for Mexican ingredients starts in honor of his grandmother and her family recipes, with more than 15 years of experience in Mexican kitchens in Baja California. In 2018 on a family trip to Valle de Guadalupe he falls in love with the great products of Baja and decides to sell his restaurant in Mexicali to start his new project called Corazá. Where his secret is to cook from the heart with love, creating all his recipes from scratch. Offering a gastronomic experience involving wood fire, smoke and local products from our oceans, farms, and wineries; creating with all this his Signature cuisine.

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Chef Sebastián Zavala, inicia su amor a los ingredientes mexicanos en honor a las tradicionales recetas familiares de su abuela, con más de 15 años de experiencia en cocinas mexicanas de Baja California. En el 2018 en un viaje familiar a Valle de Guadalupe, se enamora de las bondades y productos de la región, y decide vender su restaurante en Mexicali, para iniciar su nuevo proyecto llamado Corazá, donde su secreto es cocinar desde el corazón, con mucho amor, creando todos los platillos desde cero. Ofreciendo una experiencia gastronómica que involucra leña, fuego, ahumados y productos locales de nuestros mares, ranchos, huertos y vinícolas; creando así su Cocina de Autor.

Sheyla Alvarado

SHEYLA ALVARADO

LUNARIO | VALLE DE GUADALUPE, MX

Born in Guaymas, Sonora, with a huge interest in cooking, Sheyla Alvarado decided to move to Ensenada where she studied and graduated from the University of Baja California with a degree in gastronomy.

In 2015, after acquiring some experience cooking professionally, Sheyla joined TrasLomita Restaurant at Vinícola La Lomita, where she soon became the head chef. In 2019, seeking to provide a different experience in the Valle de Guadalupe, she opened Lunario, which offers two tasting menu options, incorporating seasonal and local ingredients .

In her short career, Sheyla has earned the respect of the press and her colleagues. Her cuisine has earned mentions by the American Culinary Institute (CIA), Condé Nast and The New York Times, among others. At the young age of 31, Sheyla Alvarado represents the present and, above all, the future of Baja California cuisine.

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Nacida en Guaymas, Sonora, con gran interés por la cocina decide mudarse a Ensenada donde se gradúa de la U.A. de Baja California de la licenciatura de gastronomía.

Después de acumular experiencias en los fogones, en 2015 se incorpora al restaurante campestre TrasLomita, de la Vinícola La Lomita, para convertirse posteriormente en la chef de cabecera. En 2019 buscando brindar una experiencia diferente abre su nuevo proyecto Lunario, donde ofrece dos opciones de menú degustación que cambia de manera mensual buscando incorporar ingredientes de temporada y de la localidad.

En su corta pero prolífica carrera Sheyla se ha ganado el respeto de la prensa, colegas y comensales por igual. Su cocina ha merecido menciones por el American Culinary Institute (CIA), Condé Nast y el New York Times entre otros.

A sus apenas 31 años Sheyla Alvarado representa el presente y sobre todo el futuro de la cocina Bajacaliforniana.

Tania Livier

TANIA LIVIER

TANTO SANTO

Tania Livier is originally from Mexicali, she arrived in Ensenada in 2011. In her 11 years in the region, Tania has collaborated on significant projects including Criollo Tapería and Taquería, Sarmiento Restaurant and Casa Marcelo. She recently opened Tanto Santo Pizzeria at Plaza Santo Tomás in downtown Ensenada, which showcases an in-house charcuterie program and sourdough pizza crust with a tasty dough fermented with enological lees, the yeast by-products of the wine aging process.

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Tania Livier, es originaria de Mexicali, llegó a Ensenada en el 2011. Ha tenido diversos proyectos y colaboraciones a lo largo de estos 11 años, entre ellos ha puesto su sello en Criollo Tapería y Taquería, el Sarmiento Restaurante y Casa Marcelo, distintos espacios dentro de Ensenada Centro y el Valle de Guadalupe. Su más reciente aventura, Tanto Santo Pizzeria en Plaza Santo Tomás, un centro social y cultural en el centro de la ciudad, donde tiene un programa de charcutería hecha en casa y elabora pizzas de masa madre fermentadas con lías enológicas, productos que se utilizan tradicionalmente en el fermento del vino.

Valerie Gordon

VALERIE GORDON

Valerie Gordon’s business acumen and warm, entertaining charm lend themselves to her extensive brand, including the flagship retail boutique Valerie Confections in South Silverlake, and a café and bakery showcasing her savory prowess in Echo Park.

The celebrated Los Angeles chocolatier—and James Beard Finalist cookbook author for 2013’s Sweet—embraces a philosophy of telling compelling stories through flavor by ensuring every dish remains approachable, with nuanced interpretation. Gordon founded the confectionary in 2004 with her partner Stan Weightman Jr., and eventually guided Valerie Confections to become one of the nation’s most highly acclaimed boutique chocolatiers.

Gaining recognition from national media outlets, TV networks, marquee food festivals, Gordon continues to push the boundary of her artisanal confections by collaborating with innovators in fields spanning fashion, design, and sustainability. Her versatile culinary knack includes handmade chocolates, preserves, historic California cakes, savory delights, and a new frontier involving nationally praised grilled desserts. An active community member, Gordon participates in organizations and events including L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade, Planned the Parenthood Los Angeles Food Fare, No Kid Hungry, and others.

Vanessa Franco

VANESSA FRANCO

Vanessa is originally from Maracaibo, Venezuela. Her mother, an amateur cook, always had her by her side, curious and willing to experiment. She fell in love with desserts in a small restaurant run by a Greek chef, where she began her career as a pastry chef.

Then she went on to study and work in Colombia, and did a specialization in Buenos Aires, where she further developed a taste for the French style in pastry. In Mexico, she continued her journey as a pastry chef at Paul Bentley’s restaurants in Guadalajara. A few years later she moved to Mexico City to work as a pastry chef at Máximo Bistrot.

Vanessa defines herself as a restless whirlwind who gets antsy with the comfort of a safe space.

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Vanessa es originaria de Maracaibo, Venezuela. Su mamá, una cocinera aficionada, la tenía siempre a su lado, curiosa y dispuesta a experimentar. Se enamoró de los postres en un pequeño restaurante al mando de un chef griego, donde comenzó su carrera como pastelera.

Entonces decidió estudiar y trabajar en Colombia, e hizo una especialización en Buenos Aires, donde desarrolló aún más un gusto por el estilo francés en la pastelería. Siguió en México como Chef Pastelera de los restaurantes de Paul Bentley en Guadalajara. Luego se mudó a la Ciudad de México a trabajar como chef pastelera en Máximo Bistrot.

Vanessa se define a sí misma como un torbellino que no descansa y se inquieta con la comodidad de un lugar seguro. 

Víctor Valadez

VÍCTOR VALADEZ

TROIKA | VALLE DE GUADALUPE

Víctor Valadez, arrived in Valle de Guadalupe from Tijuana in 2012 to work as an intern at the famed Corazón de Tierra, but came back to Tijuana to finish his career. He then moved to Mexico City, and had the opportunity to travel throughout México to learn about the culture and flavors of his country in cities like Oaxaca, Morelia and Puebla. At that stage of his life he meets his partners that currently lead the cuisine of Troika, the renowned food truck at Vena Cava Winery. He returns to Valle de Guadalupe to take over this amazing space in front of a beautiful pond in the winery garden, where he is head chef.

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Víctor Valadez cocinero tijuanense, llega al Valle de Guadalupe en el 2012 al proyecto de Corazón de Tierra como practicante, pero regresa a Tijuana a finalizar sus estudios. Después se mudó a la CDMX motivado por conocer más de la cultura y sabores de su país, teniendo la oportunidad de conocer ciudades como Oaxaca, Morelia, Puebla, entre otras. Es en esa etapa de su vida, que conoce a los que hoy en día son sus socios y que actualmente llevan el proyecto de la cocina en Troika, el famoso foodtruck dentro de la vinícola Vena Cava. Víctor regresa al Valle para tomar este increíble espacio en el jardín frente al pequeño lago de la vinícola, donde funge como jefe de cocina.

Viviana Martínez

VIVIANA MARTÍNEZ

PAYÁN / MIXTURA

Early in her Baja Californian childhood Viviana noticed how kitchens would always bring all kinds of people together. Whether she was amongst friends, family, acquaintances or even complete strangers, she understood that food in Mexico was not just a part of every day’s culture and nourishment, but also people’s vastest form of affection.
With a profound love for gastronomy and after graduating from Architecture in 2011 she began the journey of food creation by opening an outdoor restaurant where cooks, guests and the Valle de Guadalupe’s vineyard experience would interact fully. She did it at the heart of Relieve Vinícola, her family’s vineyard.

One of her family’s third generation of food creatives, in an ever-growing region of gastronomy and viniculture, today, Viviana’s cooking style fosters local ingredients focusing in sea produce presented in a Mexican Mediterranean modern cuisine. Every day she carefully acquires fresh produce solely from endemic and locally grown specimens. She has paired her menu to the house wines of Relieve and to el Valle’s burgeoning and creative lifestyle. Her food is a reflection of her Baja Californian soul, down-to-earth, honest, simple, yet rich and flavorful.