Baja Window to the South’s goal is to visit different places so that both American and Baja Californian tourists who don’t know everything about this state are able to discover new places, restaurants, and experiences so they can have a great weekend or special day with their loved ones.
Hosts Olga Sánchez de la Vega and Scott Koenig visited Chef Martín San Román, renowned as one of the 120 best chefs and owner of “La Original Pastel de Crepas Tijuana” restaurant which opened during the pandemic. This chef has received over 200 awards due to his blend of Mexican and French food. It should also be noted that he is the creator of the famous crepe cake that is served in many places of this city and the world.
Martín tells that after an event in Tijuana where he obtained some crepes and chocolate mousse he came to his restaurant and started to pile up layers of crepes and mousse so as to not waste the product. This was then showcased at a store he used to have and people started asking for it, to which San Román responded that it was a “crepe cake”. Clients began to ask for a slice and it soon took off and, to this day, it is sold across different restaurants and by different people in the region.
The first time Martín showed this cake out of the country was in London. The dessert has had different combinations and presentations, but its name has never changed. He has always presented it as “the original crepe cake (of) Tijuana”, always acknowledging the city where it was created.
In Tacos With Muchachos, this same chef brought us to his kitchen to prepare some pork head tacos with foie gras (duck liver). Here Martín explained that these tacos are served with a little bit of onion, coriander, recently made green sauce, lime juice, with a little bit of red wine on the side. When they tried them, Scott and Olga said that the fusion of cultures and gastronomies has created a wonderful taco with great flavor.
Scott went back to Cien Años Restaurant with Chef José Sparza to see the making of some edible insect meals. On this occasion, he made chicatana ants, where the inferior part of the insect is cooked so as to make a sauce with it. Koenig decided to try the chicatana by itself and described it as the taste of a good, strong French cheese. Sparza put inside the molcajete some tomatoes, bird beak’s chili, oil, onion, garlic (with all vegetables grilled), and the ants. Once the sauce was made, it was served on a corn tortilla. It should be noted that this is the most expensive insect of all since it only appears once a year.
The second guest was Alejandro Cruces Camberos, a Tijuana native cultural promoter who is the son of Manuel Cruces Cuellar who was the producer of the original “Tijuana Window to the South” in 1970. Currently, Alejandro is promoting and supporting art in the state and says that he, along with his brother, go to several cultural and artistic events to record them on video in case these events never happen again. This way, he feels happy that there exists an audiovisual archive of Tijuana.
Likewise, he added that he is very excited that the Baja Window to the South project has remerged, since it brings back memories of his father when he was at the studio filming Tijuana Window to the South. He also said that Tijuana has been a place with a great deal of great artists, who begin locally and then expand their talent to be renowned internationally. An example of this is guitar player Carlos Santana who began practicing at Calle Revolución.
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