Restaurants & Bars 7

Baja Culinary Fest Oct 5-9, 2011

Ringo Gato | Oct 10, 201110:45 PM

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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