Frida Asador Campestre
Farm-to-Table Dining in Valle de Guadalupe
Frida Asador Campestre focuses completely on quality, and sources locally for their ingredients. It is a true “farm-to-table” experience that takes place outside on the grounds of a beautiful winery, Casa Vinícola Winery, in the heart of Valle de Guadalupe.
I was invited, along with two other chefs from México to cook for their Second Anniversary celebration. We were to cook up a six-course meal using local farms for our ingredients.
Over the last year, I have witnessed the growth and evolution of this restaurant. I have also followed the steps that Chef Christian Herrera has taken to evolve his craft. Impressed by his talent, I gladly accepted the invitation. It was an honor to be part of it.
Casa Frida Vinícola Winery in Baja California, Mexico
Casa Frida Vinícola is one of the most popular wineries in the Valle because of its beautifully decorated modern Mexican decor and bright colorful artwork. It is absolutely stunning. The layout is very inviting with bales of haystacks where you can sit around chat while sipping wine.
Two years ago, Chef Christian opened his dining room with a dream, faith in God and a barbecue grill at the young age of 26.
Chef Christian has put together the kitchen piece by piece himself.
“When I first built this kitchen we started with a grill and four ice chests. We have been growing fast and adding more equipment due to demand. In the last year, we’ve added a smoker, a stove, an oven -all with propane tanks. We engineered a dish area, a prep area and will continue to invest more in equipment. There are so many changes because we are growing so quickly. We are so grateful for a great two years.” – Chef Christian Herrera
The week of our visit, Chef Christian built a pit underground made of bricks and stones for our Barbacoa dish on the celebratory menu.
Barbacoa is a preparation of meat (usually sheep, goat, or beef) that is steam cooked in an underground oven, covered in Maguey leaves and cooked for hours until the meat falls off the bones and is incredibly tender. Chef Emiliano Ayala cooked it for eight hours that night. It was perfect.
The temperatures dropped that night. The sun had set and it was nightfall. Chef Christian also added a tarp to the dining area to seal in the heat.
As for me and the guest chefs, not used to cold weather, we were cooking in coats, scarfs, and beanies. We could see our breath in the air. The smoke from the charcoal was blinding and stinging my eyes.
Chef Christian wore a warm sweater and was not affected by the cold temperatures at all. He gracefully attended to his guest and smiled the whole time.
Our guests were drinking and singing care-free and merry around a fire pit. Every guest was given a Mexican blanket and heaters were provided. It was a beautiful and well thought out plan. The dinner service was set outside in a fine-dining, dimly lit atmosphere. It was breathtaking.
We served six courses that night. We kept the dishes in a warm oven to execute hot meals. It was a huge success!
Congratulations Chef Christian Herrera!
Chef Christian has come a long way from one grill and four coolers. In the last two years, he has grown into a renaissance chef with a full-blown iron man kitchen. Slowly Chef Christian has gained a reputation as an up and coming new chef in Valle. He has invested every cent he has made back into his kitchen. A man who once had a dream is now living his truth.
Congratulations on your Segundo chef! You have come a long way.
Rancho San Marcos s/n, 22755 El Porvenir, Baja California, Mexico
Chef Rosie is the award-winning Chef-Owner of Provecho Grill and a two-time winner of the SoCal Chef Open. As a chef and TV personality, she has appeared on Food Network’s Supermarket Stakeout (2019) and The Cooking Channel’s Farmer’s Market Flip (2017).
Chef Rosie is also a contributing columnist for Menifee Buzz and Valley News, recounting her culinary adventures to thousands of readers each week. Through her blog, culinary tours of Mexico, and food & wine events, Chef Rosie leads her readers and guests on an exploration of Mexican cuisine and culture.