Gordon Ramsey, Gino D’Acampo and Tom Holland Spotted In Baja

It looks like it has been a busy week for celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey and Gino D’Acampo, who were spotted by shoppers at Mercado Hidalgo in Tijuana.

Mercado Hidalgo is one of the few typical 100% Mexican “Mercados” in Baja, they offer a wide selection of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, spices and almost everything you need to make a proper meal. The “Mercado” concept, which is very popular in mainland Mexico, offers products from several small businesses that most of the times are specialized in certain items. They are located in open spaces which make the consumer feel as if they were going to only one store instead of a couple dozen.

Chef Ramsey was seen getting stuff from the local shops and was later tagged by Tom Holland, who was fishing in Ensenada, in a picture of some pretty good looking lamb shanks plate.

 

 

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Another Dead Whale Beaches, Now In Ensenada

Herbe Ortega, head of ZOFEMAT in Ensenada (The Marine Federal Zone office), reported that another whale corpse was found in the Loma Dorada beach.

The animal was almost 50 feet long and weighted about 20 tons.

Authorities from the environmental office are already working with CEMEX on getting the required tools to move and bury the animal.

This is going to be a lot easier than the one in Rosarito last week since that one was in a very hard to access location.

Ortega stated that the whale was already dead by the time it got to the beach so he recommended people to stay away from the corpse in order to avoid any kind of sickness.

Source: El Vigia

Another Dead Whale Found in Rosarito

A blue whale carcass, more than 60 feet long, was found yesterday beached near a cliff in Rosarito. This is the 5th whale found dead in northern Baja’s coastline this year.

Civil Protection office stated that they worked together with the Mexican army to move the carcass of the mammal and take it to a nearby beach to bury it.

They needed the extra help since the area where the whale was found, at K 38.5 of the Tijuana-Ensenada free road, was not easily accessible.

A researcher from Ensenadas’s Center for Scientific Research and Superior Studies (CICESE), Gisela Heckel, PhD,  stated last January that local whales have seen their food sources considerably impaired because of global warming, although she also said that it is relatively normal to see a few whales stranded on our beaches when weather phenomenons like “El Niño” hit our state.

 

SOURCE: Proceso, Javier Cruz Aguirre.

Creative Gastronomy Comes to Town

BY DANIELLE WILLIAMS

Tripping at Viaje is what I like to do on a mellow Sunday afternoon on the terrasse of the newer restaurant in town, VIAJE, COCINA DEL MUNDO.  Cool jazz from a 4-piece ensemble, a glass of Chardonnay, and having just polished off an order of enfrijoladas – a sort of chicken crepes in a luscious bean sauce redolent of pasillas chiles – takes me close to Nirvana, or maybe pig’s heaven with an ocean view.

Open with much fanfare in February, Viaje is located midtown Rosarito in the Quinta del Mar complex. You drive through the arch and it is a straight shot around the fountain.

The building had been a restaurant in a former incarnation some 15 years ago when it burned down.  In came Jerome Gombert, a talented and ambitious Frenchman with successful restaurant experience in San Diego (Vagabond in North Park).  He had the vision to turn the structure into the stunning establishment it has become. Assisted by designer Roderick Shade of Architectural Digest fame, he has created an airy, elegant, yet hip space. The design takes advantage of existing exposed structural elements: the cellar, the vintage tile and wide plank wood floor, and wall niches. It has two distinct areas: a refectory style room around an oyster bar with two dozen huge lanterns to offset the bare bone feeling; in sharp contrast you then proceed to an explosion of colors and textures for a 1001-nights feeling provided by kilometers of draped sari fabrics in the two cozy rooms adjoining the patio.

When alone, I sit at the bar for a chat with Jeser, the amiable bartender. As a bonus, it affords a full view of the open kitchen with pedigreed chef, Jonathan  Casas, and his team in action. Everything is prepared to order with mostly local ingredients: organic veggies from the Guadalupe Valley and seafood from Ensenada and San Quintin.

Viaje, meaning “travel” offers a culinary tour of the world with an eclectic selection of French, Peruvian, Moroccan, and Chinese preparations.  I have not tried it all, but the steak tartare is for me a near addiction: chopped to order fresh sirloin with assorted spices. Jonathan’s rendition of bouillabaisse, the French fish soup, is another favorite.  If you are fussy about your oysters, you’ll love these plump, sweet on the shell – the best anywhere.  My companions have raved about the various ceviches which  I have not tried yet, but looked like works of art.

Several times, the attendance was minimal making me think that Viaje has not yet appeared on everyone’s radar.  I have heard that some folks are intimidated by the exotic touch and fear high prices. In reality, the prices are reasonable and the place is unpretentious as is Jerome whose hospitality makes you feel at home. As of this writing, there is a happy hour from 5-7 on weekdays with music on Friday. Try it, enjoy it, and why not toss a coin in the fountain on your way out.

Rosarito Calendar of Events

Every Monday through Friday, 9:30 am – 12:30 pm; Pickleball at the Rosarito Pickleball Complex and Training Camp at Parque Reforma (west of Pabellon center – turn left at Oxxo). Three courts. $2 court fee per day. Bring water and folding chair. Facebook.com/ Rosarito Pickleball for all information.

Every Monday, 10:45 am, duplicate bridge at Baja Gold Bridge Club, KM 42 at the Rosarito Beach Christian Church. [email protected]

Every Tuesday, 10 – 11 am, Chair Yoga at IMAC Rosarito, Salon 3 (behind Banamex). To register, send name and phone number to [email protected]

Every Second Tuesday, 1 pm; The Baja Business Club Unlimited Meeting (BBCU) at Ruben’s Restaurant (k 43). Network with other local business professionals. Chuck Smith: [email protected] for more information.

Every Tuesday – Rotary Club meets at Rosarito Beach Hotel. 664-376-2620.

Every Tuesday, 10 – 11 am; Chair Yoga with Erendira Abel at IMAC, Salon 3. [email protected]

Every Wednesday, 10:30 am – 12 pm; Learn Spanish Naturally at IMAC Rosarito, at the Library. To register, send name and phone number to [email protected]

Every Wednesday, 10:30 am – 12 pm; Speak Spanish Naturally with Erendira Abel at IMAC Library. [email protected]

Every Wednesday, 10am – 12pm; Adult painting class at IMAC Rosarito in the main park. Bilingual instructor. 200 peso registration/ 300 pesos per month. [email protected]; Facebook/imacrosarito.

Every Wednesday, 7:30 – 9:00 am; Tai Chi classes with certified instructor Eugenio Encinas at Galeria Fausto Polanco Rosarito. 350 pesos per month. Alyce: 664-368-6733; Alberto: 661-125-9191.

Every Second Wednesday (except December). 10 am. Friends of the Library meeting at CEART Rosarito. Promotes reading and literacy in Rosarito. www.friendsofthelibrary.com.mx. 661-612-3659.

Every Third Wednesday of the Month (except December), Flying Samaritan’s General Meeting at Villas Del Mar (k 31.5). www.flyingsamaritansrosarito.org;  [email protected]; 1-858-234-2360; 661-100-6066.

Every Third Wednesday (except December) 1:00 – 4:00 pm, Flying Samaritan’s Outrageous Bingo at Popotla Jr. Restaurant (across from El Nido – formerly California Fresh), Food and Drink specials; free parking behind restaurant; Six games, 4 cards for $10; Karen: [email protected]; (US) 1-818-515-0067l (MX) 664-609-3419.

Second and Fourth Wednesday, 1 pm; Cruz Roja Primo Tapia Bingo at El Pescador Restaurant. 6 games/ 2 cards for $5. Reduced price menu; [email protected]; 1-623-217-9795.

Every Other Thursday 12 pm; Baja Wordsmiths Writing group meets at L’Estancia Restaurant (turn at the wooden water wheel). Bring something to write with. RSVP to Facebook.com/ Baja Wordsmiths for date.

Every Thursday. 8:30 am. Local Board of Realtors (APIR) meets at Oceana Grill. Good place for buyers or sellers to find a Realtor

Every Second Thursday. 10 am. Cruz Roja Volunteers, Rosarito Chapter General Meeting NOW at Beach Comber Rest. . www.cruzrojarosarito.org.mx; President: Mary Moreno, [email protected]

Every Third Thursday. 10 am. General Meeting for FRAO, Foreign Residents Assistance Office. Open to the public. Calafia Hotel.  Speaker’s presentation. [email protected]

Every Friday, 12 – 2 pm; Adult painting class at IMAC Rosarito in the main park. Bilingual instructor. 200 pesos registration/ 300 pesos monthly. IMAC [email protected]; Facebook/imacrosarito.

Every Monday and Friday (that is NOT a Mexican holiday) 11 am – 1 pm; Free beginner and intermediate Spanish Classes at the Palacio Municpal, through the FRAO office. Contact Liz for information: 661-614-9600, ext. 1080, or email: [email protected]

Every Saturday, 10:00 am at IMAC Central park. Chess for all ages. www.facebook.com/IMAC Rosarito.

 Every First Saturday. 10 am. United Society of Baja California (USBC) general meeting at the Titanic Room of the Calafia Hotel. Good info for the English speaking community of charitable, community service and social organizations. www.unitedsocietyofbaja.org. 664-748-3949.

Every First Saturday. Noon-sundown. Open Studio Art Walk, a free tour of galleries in Rosarito Beach Hotel commercial center. Meet artists at work in their studios. [email protected]

Every Third Saturday. 1pm. USBC, United Society of Baja California, monthly potluck dinner, at La Maroma sports bar, across from Burger King. Different theme every month. Usually live entertainment. Free. Membership $20 per year.

Second Sunday of every month, Pet sterilization by the Baja Spay and Neuter Foundation at the Centro de Diagnostico Clinico Vetrinario, ave. Queretaro #2331-3, Col Cacho, Tijuana. 200 pesos, 661-124-3619, or Robin at www.BajaSpayNeuter.org.

Last Sunday of every month, Jewish Chavurah. Gordon Kane – [email protected]

Every day but one day at a time AA Grupo Gringo meets daily #16 Mar Mediterraneo (two blocks behind Del Mar Beach Club). Saturday, 3:00; Sunday, Monday, Thursday: 10:00 am; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 6:00 pm.  Additional meetings in Cantamar (just south of the footbridge) Tuesday and Friday, 10:00 am.  661-614-1678.

September 6, Friday, 5 – 8 pm; First Friday House Party Hawaiian Style at the Rosarito Beach Parrot Head Club (located in Pikin Ziplines k 42). Live music, vendor space available. Contact Lori Chaffin at Facebook.com/ Baja Lori Chaffin.

September 7, Saturday, 10 am – 5 pm; Bill’s Baja Garage and Art Sale at Puerte del Valle plaza. 8 tables available for vendors, $20 per table. [email protected]; US: 1-760-554-4238; MX: 646-155-0029.

September 7, Saturday, 10 am; USBC Monthly meeting at Calafia Hotel. Guest speakers. Find out what’s happening in the community. www.unitedsocietyofbaja.org.

September 7, Saturday, 12 – 6 pm; Bright & Shiny, Bold & Beautiful, Ladies Day Out at Baja Glass and Art Gallery at Quintas Calafia Hotel (k 35.5). Shop for beautiful items and experience Luminess Airbrush make-up demonstration (as seen on TV). Facebook.com/ Baja Glass and Art Studio.

September 7, Saturday, 5 pm; Celebrate Abelardo Rodriguez Park’s 52nd anniversary with the historical presentation: “Abelardo Rodriguez Park: Historical Panorama of a Public and Cultural Space in Playas de Rosarito” by Aaron Garcia Acosta. Facebook.com/ IMAC Rosarito.

September 7, Saturday, 5 – 9 pm; Seniors Supporting Apoyando Abuelitos (Seniors) Annual Fundraiser Fiesta at Mata Ashta (San Antonio Del Mar). Food, music, raffles! Tickets: $30 through PayPal at [email protected] Reggie Corsaro: [email protected]

September 9, Monday, 11 am – 5 pm; Casting Call at Baja Studios! Needed are extras for two television shows filming between October 2019 and May 2020; Male and female, ages 6 – 70.  No appointment necessary. Facebook.com/ Agencia BarbarellaCasting

September 12, Thursday, 10 am; Cruz Roja Rosarito General Meeting at Quintas del Mar Hotel. Facebook.com/ Cruz Roja Voluntarios Americanos de Rosarito.

September 13 – 16, Friday – Monday, 10 am – 10 pm ; Festival of the Seven Oaxacan Moles at San Fernando Plaza (across from Smart & Final).  Four days of live entertainment, marimba, folkloric dancing, with costumes and moles representing the seven regions of Oaxaca. Free entrance. Facebook.com/ Union de Empresarios Oaxaquenos.

September 14, Saturday, 12 pm; Rosarito Beer Fest by the Beach at Abelardo Rodriguez Park/IMAC (behind Banamex). Food, entertainment, vendors, and 40 different craft beers of the region. Must be 18 years old. Tickets 300 pesos, available at www.boletop.com.mx  through Facebook.com/ Rosarito Beer fest by the beach.

September 15, Sunday, 6 – 9 pm; “Viva Mexico!” with Miguel de Hoyos and Alex Depue at Hotel La Mision (k 59). Tickets available at Hotel La Mision. 646-155-0333; Facebook.com/ Hotel La Mision.

September 20 & 21, Friday & Saturday; Pat’s Pub n Tub South of the Border Golf weekend at Vista Hermosa (formerly Bobby’s by the Sea). Must book by September 8. Baja Mar Golf Resort. Fiesta at Vista Hermosa Saturay night for all (even non-golfers).  Info, reservations and tickets: Isidro / Abel: 1-619-810-7666; Krista: 1-714-269-0920.

Que Pasa In Baja?

Did school start yet? Last week was supposed to be the start of the new year, but that wasn’t the case for more than 700,000 students from Kindergarten to high school that were left without classes since teachers from public schools are still on strike. Although the government has been paying most of the teachers that have a permanent position, they have been falling short on payments to retired and interim teachers.

The strike started while students were on their summer break, and it still hasn’t been resolved. The teachers union says the total amount owed to them totals $5.5 million USD.

Governor Kiko Vega said previously that the state government didn’t have any more money for them at that time since the federal government hadn’t fulfilled their promise to send the usual funds to our state. Federal authorities have vowed to send the money ASAP so students can resume classes starting in September.

Another excuse to drink! Like we needed more here in Baja. Recently, the state tourism office and Grupo Modelo (makers of Corona Beer here in Mexico), announced the “Beer Route” project. It consists of a website and an app for your phone that will enable you to see a map with the location of most of the craft beer breweries here in Baja.

A couple of years ago, the same office launched the “Ruta del Vino” project, which is basically the same but for wine, and it worked great for them. Now that craft beer is so popular here, they have decided to expand the idea for beer.

The app will launch at the end of September and will be available in both Spanish and English languages.

Possible new free zone. Since the lower taxes for the border have worked out, bringing an increased economic activity, Ruben Roa, incoming head of the economy office for our state, has stated that there is a plan to create a free trade zone with the US and Baja, where most merchandisers would not have to pay any import fees.

He already stated that Ensenada would be included if they go forward with this idea, although for other border states it would only cover about 20 miles from the border.

Ensenada will offer free WiFi for tourists and just about anyone else who is in the area. It is a new plan that the hotel association in Ensenada, along with the economic development council, have launched. The projects will offer free wireless internet in tourist areas of Ensenada, and although the project will be financed by the economic council, its maintenance will be self-sustainable with the sale of an ad space that will appear upon connecting to the network.

On its first stage, the areas covered will be from the start of Costero Boulevard (entrance to the city), to the Riviera Cultural Center and First Street from Ruiz to Castillo.

Bonilla vows to have the best police force in Mexico. Our incoming governor, Jaime Bonilla, has stated that Baja California will have the best police force in all of Mexico and that the head of it will be someone very well trained and without any ties to organized crimes.

“Our state will be a reference point for other states and for our president Lopez Obrador; my administration will be the first one elected during his governance, and for that reason he has stated that he is fully committed to Baja California. I won’t let you down,”  said Bonilla during a press conference. ,

One of his first strategies will be to correctly assign the police elements to each city: Tijuana needs about 800 more, Ensenada about 200 and Mexicali just 25. Meanwhile, Tecate has 40 more police officers than it should have and Rosarito is already at the recommended number. The number of officers needed per city is based on a norm established by the United Nations.

Casting Call! Extras Needed!

Monday, September 9th, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm at Baja Studios, Rosarito. Extras needed for two television shows filming between October 2019 and May 2020. The Barbarella Casting Agency is looking for men and women of all ages (6 – 70), all sizes, all “looks.” Especially needed: Men with hair and mustaches in full growth.

What to expect: Have your photo taken; have measurements taken for costumes, and provide your name and contact information. No appointment needed – Just show up.

Are you a SmartTraveler?

Are you a US Citizen who is a long-term resident of Baja California?  Or a casual tourist, just visiting for a few days?

Either way, there’s a great free resource for you available from the US State Department!  Smart Traveler is the official State Department app for U.S. travelers.  It provides access to frequently-updated official country information, travel alerts, travel warnings, maps, U.S. embassy locations, and more. With Smart Traveler, you can create personal itineraries, add notes, and organize your trips.

Smart Traveler also provides access to the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment enables the State Department to better assist you in emergencies such as natural disasters, unrest in foreign countries, or lost/stolen passports overseas. During your travels, STEP can help your family and friends reach you in an emergency. Smart Traveler also provides quick access to the Department’s Consular Affairs Facebook and Twitter pages.

To get started, go to your app store and search for “Smart Traveler”.  Download the app to your mobile device, and follow the on-screen directions to register for STEP.  Part of the process includes identifying where you are (or will be), and for how long, as well as providing identification and address details.  This allows email alerts specific to your geographical location to be sent in the event of natural disasters or other issues

Wherever you’re going, stay safer and use the SmartTraveler app and STEP.  You’ll be glad you did!

Astronomical Views in Tijuana

I discovered something new this week – well, new to me. While driving the “Sentri route” through Tijuana, one passes all these green “El Trompo” signs featuring an illustration of a spinning top. El Trompo is an interactive museum in Parque Morales near CECUT and CEART Tijuana.

Coincidentally, Ms. Rosario Ruiz Camacho, Director of said Museum, spoke at the weekly meeting of the Rosarito Press Club AC, and revealed new major happenings at El Trompo.

On August 23rd, the museum inaugurated a new planetarium project, open to the public six days a week, but geared to primary and secondary students. Constructed by Planetarium de Torreon, the El Trompo planetarium salon measures nine meters in diameter with a 180-degree projection screen and has a capacity for 50 people per showing with accommodations for the physically challenged. The laser projector system is a state-of-the-art laser with 4K image quality, coupled with a Surround Sound digital system.

Some believe that to be a planetarium the location must include a telescope but in reality, a planetarium is a theatre for presenting educational programs about astronomy, and in this case, astronautics, “the theory and practice of travel beyond Earth’s atmosphere.” (Thank you, Wikipedia).

The primary functions of this ambitious project are the development of astronomical research, instrumental and technological development, and the teaching and communicating of science. El Trompo planetarium will be an innovative tool to foster the interest in the sciences, not only for educational scholars but for the general community as well.  Whereas the programming is geared toward students of the primary and secondary grades, this should not stop adults from attending.

Four films will alternate in the planetarium’s programming; “Tochitli: The Adventures of the Lunar Rabbit,” “Losing the Darkness,” “From the Earth to the Universe,” and “Mayan Arqueoastronomia (astronomical archeology): Observations of the Universe.” Other topics will include current astronomical research being done in Mexico, light pollution, Mayan myths, and other modern topics that will help us to understand our place in the cosmos.

This is the only planetarium in Tijuana and only the third planetary museum nationwide with this high of a quality projection system. El Trompo is open Tuesday through Friday 9:00 – 5:00, Saturday and Sunday 10:00 – 6:00. Astronomical programs are shown Tuesday through Friday at 2:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday at 12:00, 3:00 and 5:00 pm. The most popular hours are Wednesday and Thursday, 1:00 – 4:00 pm, and since programming is created to interest students (read: school groups), it could be a bit noisy during these hours. Admission for the general public is 50 pesos and the school package including interactive rooms is 45 pesos. Check out their informative sites at www.ElTrompo.org or on Facebook.com/ElTrompo.

Some of the major donors for this project are the Tijuana Rotary Club, Grupo Tress International, the Tijuana Development Council (CDT), Student Council of Science and Technology of Baja California (COCITBC), and the Business Trust of Baja California (FIDEM).

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