It begins at 5:00 p.m. as guests – clad head to foot in white – begin filing into the the lawn area between the Rosarito Beach Hotel and the water under the shadow of the great pier that juts out from the hotel property into the sea. The scene, with the area ringed in tents and filled with tables, has the look of a highly color-coordinated, very high-end wedding or perhaps a particularly well-catered garden party.
But as the afternoon sun begins to set the true character of the event comes into focus: one of Baja California’s premier annual food and wine events. It will happen again this coming Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Rosarito Beach Hotel. The cost of the event is $65.00…and whatever it costs to acquire the all-white attire.
The event, hosted and produced by Chef Bo Bendana Sein and Dennis Sein, the proprietors of the superb Mi Casa Supper Club in San Antonio Del Mar (just north of Rosarito), is built around a unique culinary competition that goes a step beyond the familiar. Each chef is paired with a producer of some of Baja’s best wines or beers. It is the best pairing — not necessarily just the best food or wine individually — that wins the competition. Last year’s winner was the pairing of the food of Chef Martin San Roman (of La Terrasse San Roman in the Valle de Guadalupe and Dobson’s Bar & Restaurant in San Diego) with the wine of Alximia Winery (where La Terrasse is housed).
San Roman will return this year to defend his crown against high profile chefs such as Diego Hernandez, Antonio De Livier, Erick Alcazar and Iker Castillo. Wines will include Alximia’s return as well as Lechuza Vineard and 2013’s winner Madera 5. Judges will include Drew Deckman (Michelin-starred chef of Deckman’s en el Mogor), Anita Lau of the superb Mad Hungry Woman blog and…well…me.
I can tell you that tickets are available at the Rosarito Beach Hotel (or www.sabordebaja.com). I cannot tell you where to go to find all-white attire.