San Diego Celebrity Chefs
Bracero & Mision 19
The charismatic personality of Tijuana-Born Chef Javier Plascencia reflects on his take on Baja Mediterranean cuisine, of which he is a fervent and energetic promoter.
Baja Mediterranean cuisine obtains its ingredients from the fields, orchards, and farms from both sea and land. Chef Javier Plascencia has an innate talent for selecting the freshest herbs, spices, fruits, vegetables and seafood achieving combinations that create completely new flavor experiences.
Chef Plascencia began his career in his family's kitchen, learning and then bending established cooking rules. He studied in culinary art schools in San Diego, CA, and after graduation he worked in a myriad of hotels and restaurants in the area, before traveling the world, tasting and exploring every place he visited. In 1989, shortly after getting a good deal of firsthand experience, he opened his own restaurant. Today, Javier Plascencia is Chef and owner of multiple restaurants in Baja California, and Southern California, where he personally supervises their warm and inviting design, as well as kitchen, menus and wine lists.
Chef Javier Plascencia has appeared in publications such as Food Arts, La Buena Mesa, Gourmet Magazine, San Diego Home and Garden, Catadores, Food & Wine, San Diego Magazine and GQ México, as well as known international press like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker and the Washington Post, along with various radio and television shows in Mexico and The US such as No Reservations, with Chef Anthony Bourdain; Mexico, one plate at a time, with Chef Rick Bayless and Bizarre Foods, with Andrew Zimmerman.
Javier has been invited to cook for ex-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Mexico's ex-Presidents Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderon Hinojosa, among several other well-known figures in politics and entertainment. And for the second consecutive year, he participated in Chef Dance, as part of the Sundance Film Festival.
His constant interest in promoting his city and state led him to organize the first installment of the BAJA CULINARY FEST in October of 2011. Recognized as one of Tijuana and Baja California's most passionate promoters, he has received prestigious recognition and awards from several organizations, notably the Award for Tourism Product Diversification, in the gastronomy category by the BCF, given to him in the city of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco in a ceremony lead by Mexico's than President, Felipe Calderon Hinojosa, during the event Tinaguis Turístco 2012.
One of his other passions is promoting the "localvore" and sustainable food movement, in particular fishing. In May 2013 he participated, for the second consecutive year, and was honored for his work supporting ethical fishing and agriculture in Wildcoast's Baja Bash. His restaurant, Misión 19, was recognized as Best New Restaurant for the year 2012 by Travel + Leisure Magazine’s Gourmet Awards Mexico, where it was also included in the Best Restaurants in Mexico 2013 Guide.
In the summer of 2012, Chef Javier Plascencia undertook a new project: Finca Altozano, in the Guadalupe Valley, a restaurant-vineyard on a two-acre plot of land in a privileged area in Ensenada, Baja California. Finca Altozano was just named Best Wine Country Restaurant in 2013 by San Diego Magazine.
Javier works arduously both in Mexico and The United States, appearing in seminars, festivals, conferences, presentations; fostering the value and use of local ingredients. As a speaker in Mexican and American Universities, he inspires his students to discover tastes and textures in food to create new ways of drawing on each ingredient's maximum potential.
Chef Javier Plascencia was recently named among the Distinguished Bajacalifornians of 2013 by the State Government, and included in the list of "50 people that are transforming Mexico" by Quien Magazine, both for his work in promoting the people, product and culture of Baja California.
In the United States, he was recognized as Chef of the Year by the site Eater San Diego; mentioned in the Zagat list as one of the Six Innovators of gastronomy and drink in San Diego, and his restaurants were among the 100 best in Latin America by The Daily Meal. In January 2014, Bermejo, a project proposed by Javier Plascencia, started out in Hermosillo, Sonora, providing local residents with a rich taste of land and sea wonders.
His most recent project is Bracero, a restaurant that will soon open its doors in San Diego, California, where customers will be able to enjoy the best of traditional Mexican food.
Javier Plascencia continues to work to promote the creativity, products and people of the region of Baja California and Northern Mexico.