Third Annual Baja California Culinary Fest Honors Regions Innovative Cuisine, Unique Flavors and Prominent Chefs | Oct. 24-27

October 13, 2013

The third annual Baja California Culinary Fest will celebrate the region’s artisanal food, premium wines and craft beers being produced throughout the Mexican state, Oct. 24-27. Featuring special dinners, tastings, cooking classes, competitions and entertainment, the region’s distinctive gourmet fare will take center stage with 25 of Baja California’s culinary stars and top sommeliers. A significant driver of tourism, Baja’s cuisine was recently declared an intangible cultural heritage to the state by the World Tourism Organization (WTO).

The 4 day festival kicks off on Thursday, Oct. 24 at 8am at the Culinary Art School in Tijuana, where 40 students and new professionals will face off in front of panel of expert judges including Javier Plascencia, Pedro Ortega, and Miguel Angel Guerrero. Winners will be announced at the fest’s inaugural dinner that evening, “Cena con Ellas,” at 7:30 p.m. hosted by Food Network celebrity chef Marcela Valladolid. The entirely women-run inaugural dinner, will feature several of Baja California’s well-known female chefs, winemakers and a Mezcal maker.

Chef Javier Plascencia
Headlining this year’s event are seven exclusive themed dinners on Friday, Oct. 25 at Tijuana restaurants Misión 19, El Colegio, Baja Craft Beer, La Condesa, Villa Saverios, La Cazaclub and Baja Terra, each featuring a host chef and three to five guest chefs from Mexico and California. Chefs Javier Plascencia, Miguel Angel Guerrero, José Cárdenas, Manuel Brito, Alberto Cansino, Humberto Avilés and Pablo Tayahua will host dinners alongside guest chefs that include Jason Knibb, Flor Franco, Chef LaLa, Drew Deckman, Ryan Steyn and Roberto Alcocer. Top sommeliers and mixologists from the region will complement the evening with unique wine and cocktail pairings for each course.

Baja's beautiful Valle de Guadalupe
“Baja California’s culture and ingredients are celebrated every year with this event, bringing together our top talents, fine wines and craft microbrews,” said Baja California State Secretary of Tourism, Juan Tintos Funcke. “This is one of the best times to see the wide variety of flavors and unparalleled culinary experiences that we have to offer.”

Additional highlights of the fest’s 20-plus events include a wine tasting with a “Guess the Price” element, “Culinary Cinema” screeners, and celebrity chef cooking demonstrations and presentations. Craft beer enthusiasts can partake in a food and beer pairing featuring Javier Albarran of Border Psycho Brewery in Tijuana and Chef Jose Miguel Garcia of La Barraca Valenciana in Mexico City, as well as curbside dining and beer outings throughout Tijuana with tour group Club Tengo Hambre. On Oct. 27, the event concludes with a culinary tour of Valle de Guadalupe, stopping at restaurants Almazara, Malva, Deckman’s, Latitud 32 and Finca Altozano, each hosted by a different chef.

Tijuana Cultural Center
Many of the fest’s events will take place at the Tijuana Cultural Center (CECUT), including a free Culinary Expo in the Esplanade on Friday and Saturday from 1-11 p.m. with local vendors selling food, drink, and other craft products. Tickets for other events range from $7 to $75, and are available for purchase online.

To view the complete schedule and chef lineup, visit, like BCCulinary Fest on Facebook and follow on Twitter for the latest news. For more information about Baja California and its culinary attractions, visit, follow on Twitter, and like on Facebook.