I still dream about the Tiradito de la Casa that I relished on my first trip to Zarco, Cocina de Baja in Chula Vista. The tender slices of hamachi crudo, the smokey chunks of grilled octopus, the delicate citrus of the yuzu sauce combined with just a hint of bite from two separate peppers— all had the unmistakable signature of Chef Flor Franco’s creative palette and totally appealed to my own particular palate. I’m not much of a wine connoisseur, (I know that may seem odd for a food writer), but it seemed to me that the wine list, carefully curated by Fernando Gaxiola of Baja Wine +Food, perfectly represented why wines from the Valle de Guadalupe are such a hot commodity these days.
Today Chef Franco and Gaxiola announced that they were no longer involved with Zarco.
In a statement, the pair said “We’re so grateful for the support and love we’ve received since opening Zarco this past September. Unfortunately, due to fundamental differences with our partners about how the restaurant should be managed, we’ve decided to discontinue our involvement with the project. It is important to mention that we do believe in the concept, and in the idea of bringing Baja and its culinary treasures to the US. Chef Flor Franco will continue focusing on her projects in Mexico and San Diego.”
Franco went on to elaborate, “Zarco was a passion project for me: the intersection of soulful Baja-style food, wine and bountiful ingredients and products from the region. I am grateful for the purveyors and other people we met while building the concept and I will continue to focus my energy on projects on both sides of the border, including Indulge Contemporary Catering, Baja Wine + Food, and Convivia at Encuentro in the Valle de Guadalupe. As always, my deeper creative compass is spinning within me, so I’ll keep you updated on what I’m working on.”
Ingrid Croce and Bernard Guillas will once again judge the culinary creations of competitors in the 10th Annual Chef Showdown.
To see “whose cuisine will reign supreme”, be sure to mark your calendar for the 10th annual Chef Showdown on Thursday, September 18th, when two teams of San Diego’s top chefs and mixologists will once again compete in an Iron Chef-style culinary battle, while an expected 5-600 guests will enjoy delectable tastings from 45 restaurants and specialty food and beverage vendors. This one-of-a-kind fast paced, intense, and yet friendly competition will benefit the programs and services of Center for Community Solutions, a San Diego nonprofit that provides advocacy, legal support, healing and prevention services for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and elder abuse. Continue reading →