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Saturday January 20 2018
Alcaravea Gourmet
Author:

Brian Blackburn
ask@caboguy.com


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Nestled up a side street in downtown in Cabo San Lucas is one of the funkiest restaurants that you will ever find...Alcaravea Gourmet offers Mediterranean-style dishes, which are the best I have ever tasted! Judging by the full reservation list and happy diners, I am not alone in this opinion. Chef Enrique Diaz Gerard has created a slice of Italy where the Cabo bus terminal used to be...just 2 blocks off the main drag but miles away from anything else like it in Baja.
“My passion for cooking started at a young age because my Father was a master chef who ran our family-owned restaurants, a tradition which I intend to continue with my wife and sons”. Born in Mexico City, he is the eldest thus was able to get to the table first after helping to prepare the meal. As a boy, Enrique played sports and thought he would be a martial arts expert or basketball player; his father was his hero and they still are very close (Bruce Lee and the Beatles are favourites too). In school as he enjoyed biology, geography and more artsy topics rather than mathematics and the like.
Enrique worked in hotels like Camino Real, Fiesta Americana throughout Mexico as well as training lessons at culinary schools in Cuernavaca, Morelos. Enrique took his learning international as he travelled to Europe where Italian and Mediterranean influences gave him the ideas for his personal creations, which he prepares, today in his own restaurant. Friends welcomed him into their kitchens which gave him wonderful opportunities to test his skills; skills which have served him well throughout his career.
Returning to his homeland, Enrique opened his first restaurant in Toluca then after several years, he went to Toronto Canada where he lived and worked in Little Italy; being from there myself, I know just how excellent the food is in that city. Toronto has one of the largest Italian communities outside of Italy so to be a master chef, you have to be very good!
In 2006, Chef Enrique opened Alcaravea Gourmet as a small sidewalk cafe with a warped floor, a tarp ceiling and rickety chairs and tables...no worries, his food was excellent and the quirkiness gave it a cosy feeling. After all, there are not many places where you needed to walk through the kitchen to get to the bano! As time went by and the clientele grew, the restaurant took on improvements with a real floor, a real roof and expansion into the space next door. Now, ivy vines enclose the dining area, artwork on the walls give it a home dining-room feeling and the kitchen is huge with a staff of 10, many attending school for cooking and administration classes. When the expansion is complete, seating will be for a total of 45 people with 20 in a new air-conditioned section.
“My love for cooking is all about passion, quality and service... my teachings involve the philosophy that every day is a new day and every meal is a new way to show commitment to the craft of luxury dining! I encourage my staff to express themselves and to make a memorable dining experience for our guests”.
When I approached Chef Enrique to be part of this article, I noticed a look of, not quite concern...more like “what the heck will I make, I love to cook everything!” After waiting two months, I figured that he had enough time to decide so we finally sat down and talked about his life and love for cooking.
Enrique’s Chef’s Plate is Veal a la Romana... a to-die-for brisket of veal breast covered with a bread crumb mixture of bacon, garlic, olive oil, rosemary, lemon zest, & parmesan then rolled lengthwise and refrigerated for up to 8 hours or even overnight. The veal is then pan-seared, covered with more seasonings and baked in a dutch oven for 3 hours; after resting for 10 minutes, the veal is sliced, covered with the braising liquids and served with pasta and vegetables...excelente!! Paired with a fine cabernet and then tiramisu for dessert, you will remember this dinner as a highlight of your visit to Los Cabos.
Reservations are a must 143 3730 and get there early as Chef Enrique and his staff make dining at Alcaravea Gourmet an exquisite experience which must be savoured over time for the utmost enjoyment...Buen Provecho!

 

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