Baja Meets New York: Mexico’s New Cuisine Hits the Big Apple

NEW YORK - Global gastrophile capital New York City is certainly aware of the culinary and wine scene happening in Baja California. Former Les Halles chef Anthony Bourdain has visited and duly recorded his droolingly delicious experiences in Mexico’s most northwestern state. The New York Times has run op-ed pieces on “Baja Med” cuisine, it’s innovators and the burgeoning wine and hospitality culture in the Valle de Guadalupe. And if the “city that never sleeps” doesn't know what time it is in Baja yet, the alarm clock will be ringing soon as the Baja Meets New York event comes to Manhattan at the end of this month.

Drew Deckman, Baja California, Mexico Grilled Pulpo and greens from Drew Deckman's Deckman's en el Megor.

The Latin Kitchen and Wine Enthusiast – together with Mexico Tourism, Baja Tourism, Instituto Cultural de Mexico, and Delta Airlines – are bringing the best of Baja to the Big Apple with the launch of Baja Meets New York, a series of Mexican wine and food events occurring from February 26 through March 1. The event will take place in cultural and dining venues throughout downtown Manhattan.

Baja Meets New York, Baja California, New York City

Baja Meets New York, February 26th to March 2nd in Manhattan.

“We are thrilled to support the inaugural Baja Meets New York event,” says Lauren Michaels, President of Latina Media Ventures. “The timing for this type of event is perfect, given that Latin cuisine dominates the ethnic food market, and food culture continues to capture the imagination of both Latino and non-Latino audiences.”

Baja California’s beautiful Valle de Guadalupe is responsible for over 60% of the country’s wine production. Native Baja Californian and American vintners alike coexist in bacchanalian harmony in what’s been called the “Next Napa Valley”. El Gringo has enjoyed several visits to “The Valle” for food, wine and relaxation, and it is a natural and culinary experience on par with perfection. Among rolling mountains, expansive vineyards and a uniquely Mexican environment, both larger producers and artisan vintners are crafting some of the best wines in the western hemisphere.

Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California, Mexico

Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe has a reputation as Mexico’s best wine-producing region.

Vines have existed in the Valle since the 1700’s. In the 1980’s, better vineyard maintenance and modern oenological advances helped Mexican wine production improve in Baja California. Hugo d’Acosta, a French-trained winemaker from Mexico City, inspired the movement and has since become a champion of Valle de Guadalupe’s independent winemaking community. In 2014, Wine Enthusiast named Valle de Guadalupe one of the year’s Top 10 Wine Destinations, based on its rich history in viticulture and cultivation of quality vines over the last two decades.

Hugo d’Acosta, Casa de Piedra, Aborigen, Baja California, Mexico

Hugo d’Acosta of Casa de Piedra and Aborigen. Baja’s premier winemaker.

A series of multi-day, multi-format culinary events, Baja Meets New York will welcome five Baja winemakers, led by Hugo d’Acosta of Casa de Piedra and Aborigen. Other winemakers will include Amado Garza (Viñas de Garza), Phil Gregory of Vena Cava Winery, Joaquin Prieto of Vinas Tres Valles, and Mauricio Cantú of Cava Aragon 126.

Phil Gregory, Vena Cava, Baja California, Mexico

Wines from Baja’s Vena Cava and others will be tasted during Baja Meets NYC.

Although Baja’s wine is fairly established, the region’s culinary offerings have just begun to evolve and become noticed over the past decade. “Baja Med” cuisine is a symbiotic combination of fresh, local ingredients prepared in an imaginative style and adhering to Mexican and Asian preparation and cooking traditions. At the forefront of this culinary movement are Baja’s most successful chefs, including Diego Hernández of Corazon de Tierra, Javier Plascencia of Mision 19, and Drew Deckman of Deckman’s en el Mogor. All of who will be creating regional food pairings with Baja’s wines throughout Baja Meets New York.

Diego Hernández, Corazon de Tierra, Javier Plascencia, Mision 19, Drew Deckman, Deckman’s en el Mogor, Baja California, Mexico

Chefs Diego Hernández, Javier Plascencia and Drew Deckman prepare multi-course dinners throughout the event.

The Baja Meets New York program includes an opening cocktail party at Hotel Americano’s Artico rooftop space, dedicated wine tastings at the Mexican Consulate‘s Octavio Paz Gallery and Casa Mezcal, and paired multi-course Baja wine dinners hosted by NYC chefs Roberto Santibañez, Julian Medina, and Danny Mena. An 8-course paired wine dinner, or cena maridaje, featuring all Baja chefs and winemakers will close out Baja Meets NYC! on Saturday, March 1st.

All this talk about food and wine has made El Gringo hungry! But since I’m fortunate enough to live in San Diego – within an hour and a half of some of Baja California’s BEST cuisine and wine – all this goodness is within my reach. If you’re not in the area, or just want to drift away on a foodie foray, check out Baja Meets New York for some of the freshest, most imaginative and delicious cuisine and amazing wines that you’ve ever experienced! Start spreading the news…

Your Gringo in Mexico,

All events are ticketed and sold on the dedicated website: Prices range from $60 – $200.

Instagram:       BajaWFFest

About W. Scott Koenig (103 Articles)
San Diego-based lifestyle writer W. Scott Koenig is founder of the blog, author of the book 7 Days in The Valle: Baja California’s Wine Country Cuisine and writes columns for DiningOut San Diego Magazine, and Scott is also the Food Expert for Baja California at (formerly FoodieHub), an international culinary site curated by over 275 experts.

2 Comments on Baja Meets New York: Mexico’s New Cuisine Hits the Big Apple

  1. Luis, if you are a fan of red blends, you will LOVE wines from Baja California! They’ve made their way to markets here in San Diego and I think the East Coast will be pleasantly surprised!

    El Gringo


  2. I am glad to hear someone is bringing Mexican wines, I should say excellent Mexican wines, I live in Philadelphia and no one carries Mexican wines.


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