This Week, Good Food Goes to Baja! Javier Plascencia, Baja Craft Beer, Wine and Campestres in the Valle de Guadalupe

The view from Finca Altozano, Javier Plascencia's campestre in the Valle de Guadalupe.
The view from Finca Altozano, Javier Plascencia’s campestre in the Valle de Guadalupe.

It’s the Baja edition of Good Food. First we start with a market report from the Mercado Hidalgo in Tijuana. Chef Javier Plascencia says he stops by the market at least once a week to pick up everything from dried chiles to local honey. Next we visit with Ruben Valenzuela, owner of Baja Craft Beers, a pub and distributing company for craft beers in Mexico. We travel south to Ensenada to visit Sabina Bandera – aka La Guerrerense – who is famous for her uni tostadas with fresh clams and homemade salsas. Bill Esparza, our leader on the baja adventure, explains that the classic fish tacos from Ensenada originated as a snack for local fisherman. Next, we drive fifteen minutes inland to the Valle de Guadalupe where over fifty wineries are located. Also in the valley are roughly fifteen campestres, or campsite restaurants. Campestres are seasonal outdoor restaurants that operate only during the summer months. Chef Benito Molina operates Silvestre, one of the first campestres in the area with a 180 degree view of vineyards and low lying mountains. Down the road is La Escuelita, a wine incubator owned by local wine legend Hugo D’Acosta. The director of the school, Tomas Egly, explains that the school’s purpose is to give aspiring winemakers the tools to make quality wines. Our last stop in the Valle de Guadalupe is Las Nubes, a winery owned by Victor Segura. Winemaking is a second career for Segura who worked in seafood for many years. Now he operates the tasting room and tends the vines at Las Nubes. Back in LA, Jonathan Gold drops by to discuss where you can find Baja-inspired eats in Los Angeles.

 

Special thanks to Bill Esparza, and photographer Oana Marian for contributing to this episode of Good Food.