Born in Tijuana, and brought up in a hardworking family, Chef Javier Plascencia is a person with a natural curiosity for taste. This has led him to take an adventurous journey, first into Baja, and then to the rest of the world to find unique ingredients. After studying in San Diego, Chef Javier opened his first restaurant in Tijuana in 1989, and today he is one of the most prolific entrepreneurs of the region, with several culinary establishments, all with innovative concepts. Known as an ambassador of Baja California’s gastronomic movement, Chef Javier proudly represents Baja California internationally and speaks highly of the region wherever his travels take him. He is a fervent promoter of sourcing locally, from regional boutique wines and craft beers to grass-fed meats from organic farms and sustainably caught seafood. Chef Javier’s hospitality collective can be found in Tijuana, Valle de Guadalupe, San Jose del Cabo, and Todos Santos with plans for San Diego and additional US-based concepts in progress.
Executive Chef Denise Roa’s cuisine celebrates taste, vibrant colors, and the aliveness of the freshest seasonal ingredients possible. Her farm-to-table meals, usually inspired by a morning walk through the 6-acre organic farm just outside her door, are carefully prepared aesthetic triumphs—simultaneously rustic yet complex in their flavors, as well as being eminently healthy and satisfying for the body, mind, and spirit. Chef Denise’s culinary career includes studying Culinary Arts at the world-renowned Johnson & Wales University in Miami, and holding positions at some of San Diego’s best known and respected restaurants, including Pacifica Del Mar, Crescent Shores Grille, Del Mar Racetrack Turf Club, and her own restaurant, La Trattoria. Her recipes have been featured in People Magazine, Better Homes & Gardens Magazine, San Diego TV stations, and other media outlets. Additionally, Chef Denise is an instructor at the Culinary Art School of Tijuana, Mexico.
Kristin Magnussen Shute is the award-winning winemaker for Valle de Guadalupe winery Vinos Lechuza. Started by her father Ray Magnussen as a hobby in 2010, Lechuza has grown into one of the most popular wineries in the region because of their dedication to the craft and the merging of old world and new world styles. Lechuza is known for their sophisticated but approachable wines that have won over sommeliers and chefs around the world and have landed them accolades that include a coveted place on the wine list at The French Laundry in Napa, California (3 Michelin Stars). Kristin is proud of her family’s commitment to working “without borders” as ambassadors to Mexico’s modern wine movement around the world.