Corazón de Tierra… corazón del sabor

by Copas y Corchas

The radiant sun bathed the clay soil that divided use with vineyards, yet uncultivated land and other agricultural applications. Occasionally some construction peeked between the hills that form the irregular terrain of the Guadalupe Valley in Baja California Mexico.

In a caravan of cars we drove to the next event in our busy schedule: to know the Corazon de Tierra restaurant, where the talented Chef Diego Hernandez-Velasco  Baquedano delights local and foreign visitors on a concept where the ingredient and freshness are the main axis of the kitchen. How it gets its young chef? Thanks to an organic garden next to the restaurant, whose fresh-cut vegetables and fishing ports next day, add to a refined technique was refined culinary Diego on their way through the kitchens of acclaimed restaurants: One and La Querencia, in Tijuana Von Euw Chocolatier in San Diego Pujol in Mexico City; Pangea in Monterrey and La Manzanilla in Ensenada.

Original proposal for food and wine whose basic task is to respect the earth and its fruits

The modern architecture of the place, minimalist combination of steel and glass where the light is watered freely throughout the space, offers a relaxed and jovial. Heart of the Earth which is co-owner Diego, joined the Vena Cava and wine boutique hotel, La Villa del Valle, Eileen ventures and Phil Gregory, a charming foreign couple who decided to take root in Mexican soil a decade ago when found in Valle de Guadalupe, the ideal area to realize their dream of having an own wine.

Now Gregory, along with Diego make possible an original proposal for food and wine whose basic task is to respect the earth and its fruits. The menu changes daily and is consistent with what is available in the garden and local suppliers. This relatively short-lived factor gives the diner a sense of individuality, like a photograph sensory stopped for a moment in time.

The menu of the Corazon de Tierra, for us was a kind of journey of exploration. Beginning with an olive steak which served as the starting point for a journey that we moved from low to high intensity of aromas, flavors and textures with a closing deliciously subtle but equally delicious dessert.

After the steak came a “salad garden vegetables Corazon de Tierra.” Obviously delicate combination of fresh vegetables, full of aromas and colors whose small textures were a delight.

“Toast of mussels with avocado puree and powder Hedgehog” was extraordinary. With a group of aromas and flavors Mexican dish was a hedgehog whose dust was the counterpoint to the creamy texture and sweetish avocado and mussels. Fresh and aromatic local garden led us to the sea and was the detail that immediately brings to mind the proximity of Ensenada and rich seafood production.

The “mackerel, mashed turnip and lentil sprouts”, covered by a bit of lemon zest on top brought more intense aromas and flavors that separately were somewhat unusual, but in joining were a delight: a kind of game which combined elements independently totally dissimilar, but in addition were surprisingly balanced.

The dishes were accompanied with house wine dishes perfectly harmonized: the first part of the banquet tasted a fresh, aromatic white wine and citrus Vena Cava Sauvignon Blanc 2011. Vibrant acidity, shows that Mexican white wines are becoming more fresh fruit, leaving behind the herbal notes. For the second part, we decided to move to a Vena Cava Big Blend 2009. Concentrated flavors of ripe fruit, tannin and acidity with very nice, good step by palate and long finish, the kind that invite you to drink the next sip.

One of the favorite dishes for most of the guests arrived at the table. “Lenqua, black bean / mole, spinach and carrot.” He filled the palate with intense flavors almost creamy texture of the tongue in perfect cooking. Together with the potatoes and carrots sheets arranged in small slices, was a delicacy of greater strength, but balanced with hints of the plants and the brushwork of puree. Frankly great.

A delicate dessert that combined orange granita, strawberry and lavender flower was used to close a meal full of freshness but displayed an interesting variety of different flavors: the “mezcal orange cake, cream lavender acompañadopor some ice cream yogurt with star anise, “was perfect to leave behind the intense flavors give way to more delicate and subtle flavors.

A delight to enjoy fine cuisine accompanied by wines of good manufacturing undoubtedly fortunate complements of each other, inviting you to reflect on the impetus given to the wine industry in Baja California cuisine while the rich supply of ingredients and products local handled with originality as does the chef Diego, make it possible to enhance both sides of the same coin. It is sometimes difficult to decide which is better, if food or some wines, but at least in Corazon de Tierra  there is excellent opportunity to add elements to create sublime experience as one that we live right in the heart of the valley.

Irresistible escape the energy that permeates the Valle de Guadalupe: the decline of the sun, the evening was replaced by a dense fog which began its slow journey into the hills. Crossing with a white blanket the surrounding mountains, fog, food in the form of moisture, he covered the vines as preparing them to rest. The region has its charm, everyone will find at least one reason to delight in people, food and wine … but I am sure many will look for any excuse to return.

Bon appetit!
Dr. Salsa

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One Trackback

  1. […] rock-star handsome Tijuana surfer, along with fellows chefs such as Diego Hernandez of Corazon de Tierra, Benito Molina and Solange Muris of Manzanilla, and brothers Javier Martinez of Boules and David […]

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