As a world-famous Mexican chef, César Pita is passionate about cooking that comes from the heart, dishes that honour the soul of Baja and sharing his love of Los Cabos.
In partnership with Los Cabos Tourism, we talk to the top chef and owner of the newly opened Lumbre restaurant about his insight on Los Cabos’ unique charms, his must-sees during your next trip and the true elements of Mexican cuisine.
How would you describe Lumbre restaurant in a sentence?
Lumbre is my tribute to the bounty of Baja California Sur.
How does your food speak to the culinary landscape of the Baja California Peninsula and the Los Cabos region?
For years, Los Cabos was an area with a limited gastronomic offering. It seemed that only food from other places were replicated. Fortunately, a few years ago, that began to change and now we have an incredibly diverse gastronomic offering. The cuisine of Baja California Sur now has an identity where everything revolves around local produce. At Lumbre, we love to show this in each dish, and we accompany each product with elements that not only complement its flavour, but also enhance and balance it.
What are your top three recommendations for travellers to see in Los Cabos?
- A sunset or sunrise from a boat is unmissable. Rent a boat. Whether you want to go deep sea fishing, scuba diving in open waters or just sailing on the glittering sea, to watch the beautiful sunset colours on the sky is an activity that is very worthwhile.
- Hidden places where the ocean meets the desert. Go on an off-road adventure, rent some razors or ATVsand discover those spots that will take your breath away.
- Wander through the Art District in San José del Cabo. If you visit between November to June, join the Art Walk on Thursday evenings – it is not to be missed.
What is your favourite place to eat in Los Cabos?
Panazia restaurant. Their concept (Mexican-Asian fusion) is unique and very well executed.
How do you balance regional Mexican culinary traditions with the global modern influence of Los Cabos?
My dishes can hardly be typecast into one type of cuisine or technique. They are neither very Mexican, nor very French, nor very Japanese. Rather, they are dishes where the local produce is the star. Each dish is accompanied by the ingredients and techniques that it needs to be its very best version. Finding this balance is something I do very naturally, I cannot even describe how I achieve it, my mind does it automatically when I am creating a dish.
Name some not-to-be-missed local dishes that a visitor must try while in Mexico?
Mexican gastronomy is very wide and changes depending on the state of Mexico you are in. In all of Mexico, my favourite dish is mole (a type of sauce), here in Baja, the fish and seafood tacos, as well as the native chocolata clam.
Do you think it’s important to use local produce and why?
Not only is it important, but it is also the best thing to do culinarily. When you work with local products, you add richness in flavour and texture, as well as authenticity to your dishes. And as a bonus, you support the growth of the local economy and sustainability.