Diving and collecting sea life from the Pacific, outside the fishing village of Bahia Asuncion, is part of chef Miguel Angel Guerrero’s total-immersion travelogue “Baja Expedition.”
Made with visual artist León Felipe Chargoy, it documents a 1,700-mile journey of a top Mexican chef celebrating the animals, plants and alcoholic goods found in his native land.
“It shows how people in Baja live,” says Guerrero, the hunter-chef behind Tijuana’s Baja Med cuisine movement and sustainable restaurants La Querencia and El Taller, and Valle de Guadalupe's Almazara.
In the documentary fresh oysters end up on the grill. And over the course of 24 days, culinary adventures are filmed from Northern Baja to the southern tip of the Peninsula.
“We cross Baja California from east to west eight times. We’re cooking all the time, making pairing with the beer and wines of Baja.”
The documentary – made with the help of 10 people, two trucks and five motorcycles – screens at Balboa Park’s Mingei International Museum at 7 p.m. Friday.
“Baja Expedition” embodies the sustainable, locavore menus at Guerrero’s restaurants, so it only makes sense that he’s bringing along different paellas to the screening. As well as chilies stuffed with smoked marlin, potato and goat cheese. And tamales wrapped in banana leaves. Also Valle de Guadalupe wines from LA Cetto and Baron Balche.
For $15, the evening includes the film screening, a one-night-only installation of photos, live music and Guerrero’s Baja Med cuisine, which he defines thusly:
“Baja Med cuisine uses the products of Baja. We produce 95-percent of Mexico’s wines. We have olive oil and herbs. We have Asian influence -- the Japanese and Chinese have been in Mexicali for more than 125 years. We have the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean. We have everything.” And that includes a Mediterranean influence, which is part of Guerrero's personal history. “My grandfather was from Spain. My uncles from Spain made chorizos and cheeses."
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