Baja Med is a fusion cuisine of Tijuana and elsewhere in Baja California, Mexico, combining ingredients of Mexican cuisine, such as chicharrón and cotija cheese, with those of Mediterranean, such as olive oil, and Asian cuisine, such as lemongrass. Baja Med dishes showcase the fresh produce and seafood of Baja California.
The cuisine features the fresh produce of the state. This includes fresh seafood from the port of Ensenada such as mussels, oysters, clams and shrimp, and blue tuna; miniature vegetables from the fields south of Ensenada, olives from the winemaking region of the Guadalupe Valley just northeast of Ensenada, dates from San Ignacio and tomatoes and strawberries from the San Quintin Valley. Additional ingredients include red lobster, manta rays, sea cucumbers and salicornia, a succulent that grows in sand dunes.
Examples of dishes
Examples of Baja Med dishes include:
- Tempura fish tacos
- Deep sea shrimp served with fried marlin, baby farm tomatoes, scallions and a sauce made with local cheeses
- Beet carpaccio with blue cheese and mint vinaigrette.
- Duck skewered with licorice and sprinkled with guava dust
- Risotto topped with salt-cured nopalitos (prickly pear cactus) and charred octopus
- Slow-cooked short ribs bathed in a mission fig syrup on top of a black mole sauce
Chefs and restaurants
Baja Med cuisine is a feature of the various restaurants of chef Javier Plascencia, La Querencia and El Taller from Miguel Ángel Guerrero, other Tijuana restaurants such as Food Garden, and Manzanilla in the city of Ensenada. In Bonita, California, between San Diego and Tijuana, Plascencia's Romesco features the cuisine.
In the Guadalupe Valley, chef Jaír Tellez's restaurant Laja is renowned for the cuisine, as are his restaurants Contramar and Merotoro in Mexico City. Diego Hernández heads up Corazón de Tierra in the Guadalupe Valley, rated by William Reed Business Media (the "San Pellegrino survey") as one of Latin America's 50 best restaurants.
- "Baja Med: New cuisine flourishes in Baja California", Omar Millan, Miami Herald, May 4, 2013
- "Baja Med: New cuisine flourished in Baja California", Baja California Secretariat of Tourism website, retrieved September 16, 2013
- "Master of a New Tijuana", New York Times, Josh Kun, March 8, 2011
- "The culinary buzz in Tijuana: Recovering economy, greater sense of safety pushing revitalization of all kinds of eateries", Sandra Dibble, San Diego Union-Tribune, April 1, 2011
- "FOOD GARDEN CULTIVATES BAJA MED CUISINE: New food court in Tijuana hand-picks vendors to help their businesses grow, Barbarella Fokos, San Diego Reader, April 8, 2013
- "Baja Med: The Ensenada Cuisine", Mexico Tourism Board website, retrieved September 16, 2013
- "Superdiners: Suppers south of the border: Eating extravaganzas that require a passport (some)", San Diego Union Tribune, Keli Dailey, June 14, 2011
- "Restaurant Review: MeroToro, Mexico City", Freda Moon, New York Times, March 2, 2012
- "Latin America 50 Best Restaurants List" 2013, William Reed Media
- "Corazón de Tierra", "The World's 50 Best" website