Capella Pedregal’s Culinary Team Leading A Renaissance Of Baja Cuisine In Cabo

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Traditional Baja cuisine has mostly been appreciated by locals and overlooked by critics and pedigreed chefs, however in recent years a dramatic shift has been taking place, as Cabo is fast becoming a rising hot bed of culinary ingenuity.  

This movement comes at the hands of three culinary stars that collectively helm the kitchens and wine cellars at Capella Pedregal in Los Cabos, nestled between Pedregal Mountain and the crashing waves of the Pacific.

Along with a deep appreciation for Baja's food culture, this trio shares a level of formidable epicurean expertise: Food and Beverage Director Marco Bustamante spent his formative years creating haute cuisine at, among other places, Thomas Keller's Michelin-starred Per Se in New York City; Executive Chef Yvan Mucharraz earned his stripes in the kitchens of The French Laundry in Napa, and L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Paris; and Wine Director Juan Carlos Flores Mazón has twice been chosen to represent his home country of Mexico in the international World Sommelier Competition.
 
In true Capella innovation, this rich culinary inventiveness begins "before the kitchen."  Mucharraz, Bustamante and Mazon are major proponents for Cabo's rich ecosystem of breweries, vintners, fishermen and farmers, working with each to ensure quality at every stage from selection all the way through plating.  With easy access to a diverse array of produce, fresh catches and other ingredients, the resort's culinary team can custom-tailor and change the menus weekly and in most cases daily; showcasing the Baja peninsula's richest flavors.
 

Modern Baja gastronomy is a hallmark at Capella Pedregal and the resort emphasizes local ingredients and unique interpretations of classic Mexican dishes while drawing on influences from across Mexico, the Mediterranean and Asia.  

The Pedregal Team comprised of graduates from The French Laundry and Per Se are creating new Baja flavors, featuring local ingredients paired with craft beers, craft cocktails and Mexican wines.

Homemade inventive dishes are thus a key feature at Capella Pedregal as Mucharraz and his team bake their own breads and pastries including croissants, doughnuts and churros; developing their own condiments including jams and sauces; producing from scratch, sorbets and sherbets; and even working with local pig farmers to breed their own type of "pata negra," (Iberian ham).

The culinary team at the resort cures meats on-property including aging the pata negra; and making such treats as duck prosciutto; bresaola; smoked pork belly; and lamb chorizo.

Complementing the cuisine is the resort's expansive wine list curated by the property's award-winning Wine Director, Juan Carlos Flores Mazon who was named "Champion Sommelier" in Mexico in 2004. Craft beers and cocktails are featured prominently on the menus and the culinary team is also developing their own signature barrel-aged tequila.

"I use what is seasonal and fresh, for example I use tomatoes, chiles, squash, and beans," noted Yvan Mucharraz, Executive Chef, Capella Pedregal. Speaking to the emphasis on local ingredients and inventiveness in the kitchen, Mucharraz also remarked, "We also utilize fresh herbs that many people may not be familiar with like quelites and papaloquelite; we also use a lot of fresh cilantro, all spices and different kinds of chiles; chipotle, guajillo, pasilla. Whenever possible, we source our product locally. Here at the resort, we have a special relationship with local organic farmers. A lot of the product is handpicked within one or two hours prior to arriving in our kitchen."
 
A key ingredient of the culinary experience at Capella Pedregal is the ability of Chef Mucharraz and his team to customize dining experiences for guests – for instance if guests wanted to involve themselves in the farm to table process, Mucharraz can arrange for them to partake in harvesting produce and learn about the farming process in Cabo. Guests can also join Mucharraz on sustainable fishing excursions and meet with the local fishermen to learn more about the rich ocean ecosystem.

Intimate culinary classes are also organized by the resort for guests so that they can learn about traditional Mexican cooking as well as the Baja culinary innovations that are taking place in the kitchen.
 

"Here at Capella Pedregal it is important for us to show our guests that Mexican food is so much more than just Tex Mex or Tacos.  Although that is a part of the culture, there is so much more to it.  Mexican food is very fresh, diverse, and a source of amazing ingredients and spices.  It is hard to define Mexican cuisine to one style only because in every state or region of Mexico you will find differences in style, ingredients and culture," said Yvan Mucharraz, Executive Chef, Capella Pedregal.
 
Capella Pedregal's culinary experience features the following establishments:

  • Don Manuel's - The signature Don Manuel's restaurant is named after the hotel owner's family patriarch and is located at the heart of the resort.  Cuisine at Don Manuel's uses local organic ingredients grown specifically for the resort, prepared using modern interpretations of old world techniques fused with Chef Mucharraz's modern Baja cooking approach. Adjacent to Don Manuel's is Su Cocina (translated: my kitchen). Designed in a traditional Mexican fashion, Su Cocina is where guests can learn to cook authentic Mexican and inventive Baja cuisine from the resort's Executive Chef Yvan Mucharraz and his dedicated kitchen brigade. Su Cocina also hosts a breakfast buffet every morning.
  • El Farallón - Spanish for "a rock that comes out of the ocean," El Farallón is a restaurant where fresh fish specialties are served in an alfresco setting suspended over the Ocean. This casual seafood venue features a "catch of the day" menu enabling guests to choose from fresh fish of the surrounding waters including moon scallop, Huachinango (local snapper), cabrilla, tuna and spiny lobsters. Chef Mucharraz and his team prepare these fresh catches in a variety of dynamic cooking variations
  • The Beach Club - The Beach Club is a casual, pool-side dining venue serving coastal favorites such as Hummus, Baja Wraps, Fresh Grilled Seafood, Grilled Panini sandwiches, and Classic Caesar Salads. The open air venue is the perfect place to escape the sun and enjoy a drink while watching your favorite sporting event or enjoying the coastal views.
     
  • Crudo Bar - Meaning "raw bar" in Spanish, this venue is uniquely situated in the center of the Don Manuel Pool.  With views of the Pacific Ocean, Crudo offers a wide selection of freshly prepared carpaccio, ceviche, and Mexican inspired rolls. Some of the signature dishes produced by Chef Mucharraz and his team are remarkable taste tantalizers. Featured dishes include Lobster Rosarito Tacos with Melted Cheese and Chipotle Dressing; Sea Bass Ceviche with Tomatoes, Serrano Chili, Cilantro and Lime; Grilled Chocolata Clam with White Onion, Red Dry Chili Sauce and Citrus; and Seafood Tortilla Soup with Crispy Tortillas, Guajillo Slices, Sour Cream and Panela Cheese.


​The resort also offers intimate tequila tastings, where guests learn the 500 year tradition of tequila making in the Su Cocina. Tequila tasting classes start from $45 per person. Mezcal seminars will soon be introduced as well.

Private dining is also a key feature where Capella Pedregal's creative cuisine may be enjoyed in a variety of locations throughout the resort. The resort's staff can arrange private dinners on a guestroom terrace overlooking the Pacific Ocean or an intimate beachside dinner next to the warm glow of a fire. Also available is Su Cocina for intimate gatherings the Hacienda style kitchen, the Wine Cave for dinner for two, or the private terrace located on the very tip of the El Farallón restaurant. 

About Capella Pedregal, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

The majestic Capella Pedregal resort lies on Cabo San Lucas' most coveted parcel of land – an extraordinary, 24-acre site at the southernmost tip of Mexico's Baja California Peninsula. The exclusive haven, comprised of 96 rooms and suites, is just minutes from bustling downtown Cabo, yet seemingly worlds apart thanks to its secluded location within the prestigious Pedregal neighborhood, accessible only by the private Dos Mares tunnel.  Capella Pedregal offers unprecedented luxury, sophistication and personalized service ably assisted by a team of Personal Assistants who are available around-the-clock to assist guests with their requests. The property features Beachfront Suites located directly on the beach with beautiful ocean front views. Each Beachfront Suite features an infinity edge wraparound plunge pool with a warming fire pit nearby and are available in one, two and three bedroom configurations.
 
Under the tutelage of French Laundry trained, Executive Chef Yvan Mucharraz, Capella Pedregal's three distinctive dining establishments feature refined, traditional Mexican dishes which evoke a true Baja feel and unparalleled dining environments. The centerpiece of the resort is the award-winning, 12,000-square foot signature Auriga spa, wellness and fitness facility, which features unparalleled indigenous treatments based on the lunar cycle. For more information visit www.capellapedregal.com.
 
About Capella Hotels and Resorts
Capella Hotels and Resorts serves today's top-tier travelers and residential property owners and is setting a new standard in the hospitality industry.  Capella promises the unique benefits of the finest boutique hotels, including superb architecture and interior design, privacy, individualized service and attention to detail – combined with the amenities and activities of the world's great luxury hotels and resorts.  Capella is a brand focused on customer choice, and offers choices that no other hotel company in the world can match.  Capella has opened world-class properties in gateway cities and high-profile resort destinations around the world, including: Breidenbacher Hof, a Capella Hotel (Düsseldorf, Germany); Capella Ixtapa (Ixtapa, Mexico); Capella Pedregal (Cabo San Lucas, Mexico); Capella Singapore (Sentosa Island, Singapore) and Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown opened March 2013.  Capella has also announced plans for: Capella Bahia Maroma (Riviera Maya, Mexico); Capella Bangkok (Bangkok, Thailand); Capella Nahui (Riviera Nayarit, Mexico); Capella Niseko (Niseko, Japan). 
 

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