THE best meal we’ve had in six years in Mazatlán. Really. Good food involves the quality of the raw ingredients, the talent and creativity with which it’s prepared, the setting and ambience in which you eat it, and the magnificence of the people with whom you enjoy the meal. Today was cien por ciento, 100%!
Farm to Table 2014—the very first event of its kind in Mazatlán and, we believe, in Mexico. As with the first time for anything, we didn’t expect much. We hoped, but we didn’t expect. Well intentioned but poorly executed is the norm for first-time events. But no! This team pulled it off incredibly! An absolutely beautiful setting, a gorgeously perfect day, a multicultural, integrated group of very interesting, and fun-loving, intelligent people, amidst healthy, organic and delicious food, were all ours for leisurely enjoyment this afternoon. Every course, every single drink (from tequila to two wines to coffee), and the outdoor setting were beautiful! Kudos, kudos and more kudos to the organizers, chefs and servers!!!
About 100 people, including the mayor and his beautiful first lady, were seated in a field on Chuy Lizárraga’s farm at kilometer 21, just north of town. It was an absolutely perfect day—sunny, clear, yet cool enough to be enjoyable. No bugs, nothing uncomfortable, just pure unadulterated enjoyment!
Chefs from seven restaurants dedicated seven days of menus this past week to the “Farm to Table” event: Diego Becerra from El Presidio; Marianne Biascotti from Rico’s; Sarah Emerson & Gabriel Ocampo from First International Seafood House (F.I.S.H.); Enrique Espinoza of Rosso Nero; Enrique Freyre from Raggio; Hector Peniche of Molika & Krema; and Alastair Porteous of Water’s Edge. The culmination took place today at dinner in a farm field.
We were seated at long tables in the middle of a corn field, Italian style, decked out with fresh sunflowers, white linens, and all the wine and excellently prepared organic food the discriminating palate might desire. To top it all off, it was all in benefit of Avicultores Pérez Vidaña, an award-winning non-profit organization in Sinaloa that assists low-income families with severely handicapped children by teaching them to raise chickens and eggs for food. Proceeds from the event also support the Mercado Orgánico de Mazatlán’s educational programs.
Below is video of Sarah Emerson opening the meal.
Dinner (or lunch, if you prefer) consisted of eight different dishes, all prepared with organic ingredients and served family style: green salad, tabouleh, grilled veggies, chicken, quail, risotto, a dessert selection, and coffee with organic, artesanal ice cream. It was soooo wonderful to have so many vegetables, to eat one’s fill, and still feel healthy rather than weighted down! The sun was shining yet it wasn’t hot, the conversation flowed in several languages fluidly, and an excellent time was had by all.
Janet Blaser, the gorgeous, humble, hardworking, altruistic expat here in Mazatlán, has done sooooo much for our community. First she started M! Magazine, a bilingual publication we all love, which supplements other offerings and fills a much-needed gap here in town. Then she teamed with Verónica Rico, another absolutely beautiful, talented and intelligent woman, to establish the Mercado Orgánico, the MZT Farmers’ Market. None of us can imagine how we survived without the market all those years. And now, the two of them, plus a whole team of talented others, have given us the first Farm to Table Event! Below is video of her talk, just prior to dessert.
Jorge Luis Sanchez attended, a professor at UAS who also owns and operates his own organic farm. I learned soooo much by talking to him! Definitely want to take one of his classes! I suggested to Vero that they invite Jorge Luis to speak at one of the Saturday markets, so maybe that will happen. He knows so much about our environment, ecosystem, the human body, the origins of insecticides and herbicides and their impact on the world around us and our health, as well as having extensive knowledge about GMOs. With people like him in Sinaloa, our future is indeed bright!
May this be the first of many, many such excellent events. CONGRATULATIONS and thank you to all the organizers, chefs, wait staff and attendees!