Culinary Week 2024 - Rancho La Puerta
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Culinary Week

July 13-20, 2024

Join us for a foodie adventure during Culinary Week, July 13 to 20, 2024, where we’ll celebrate the vibrant flavors of Baja California cuisine. Using the freshest organic produce, talented chefs will prepare dishes that showcase Mexico’s rich cultural heritage and traditions. From savory seafood to spicy salsas and organic produce, you can savor the bold and complex flavors that make this cuisine unique. You’ll have the chance to learn from expert chefs and explore our beautiful organic garden that produces the ingredients for our delicious meals. Join us for an unforgettable, five-star week of gastronomic excellence, fun, and community!

Featured Chefs:

Reyna Venegas, Executive Chef La Cocina Que Canta at Rancho La Puerta and member of Team Mexico for Bocuse d’Or 2023
Claudette Zepeda, 
Chef, entrepreneur and Iron Chef Mexico Winner 2022
Claudia Sandoval, Chef
and Winner of MasterChef U.S
Maylin Chávez, Executive Chef
Blue Evolution Seaweed and Oyster expert
Kristin Magnussen, Vintner from Lechuza Vineyards in Valle de Guadalupe


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The Chefs

Reyna Venegas

Executive Chef Reyna Venegas prepares fresh and delicious food that energizes, inspires, and nourishes guests. She fuses the culinary and cultural heritages of her own Northern Baja roots with the nutritious “spa cuisine” pioneered 80 years ago by Rancho La Puerta co-founder Deborah Szekely. At La Cocina Que Canta, “The Kitchen That Sings,” Chef Reyna teaches healthy eating as a celebration of life in farm-to-table cooking classes.

As a lifelong learner, Chef Reyna attends the University of California, San Diego’s Integrative Nutrition program, which focuses on how food promotes wellness.

She is also a graduate of the Culinary Art School in Tijuana, and holds a Pastry Degree from the Lycée Technique et Hôtelier de Monte-Carlo and Fondation Turquois.

She recently collaborated as manager of Team Mexico on their way to the Bocuse d’Or Finale 2023, ensuring the return of Mexico to the prestigious contest after 11 years.

Claudette Zepeda

Claudette Zepeda (@claudetteazepeda)

Chef & Entrepreneur

Claudette Zepeda is an award-winning, San Diego-based celebrity chef and culinary entrepreneur known for her fearless style and bold approach to regional Mexican cuisine. A celebrated culinary anthropologist, Zepeda draws upon 20+ years of experience working in restaurant kitchens, as well as her extensive travels around the world and throughout Mexico. Zepeda’s multi-faceted expertise is showcased in her role overseeing the creative vision as Founder of Chispa Hospitality with projects in Australia and México. VAGA restaurant in San Diego’s North County is where she authors a love letter to her hometown with a menu that celebrates local flavors and immigrant influences. Seen on 2022 Netflix’s edition of Iron Chef: Quest for an Iron Legend, winning her challenge & on Iron Chef México where she successfully won her challenge and tied in the finale. Also in the fall of 2022, she showcased her talents by beating Bobby Flay’s Titans on Bobby’s Triple Threat and winning the cash prize.

In 2019 Zepeda Founded Viva La Vida, LLC. Through Viva La Vida, Zepeda helps Mexican women support their families without sacrificing their safety. Expanding into a 501c3 in 2023 and establishing a fund dedicated to helping Hispanic women break from generational poverty in the United States.

Claudia Sandoval

Chef Claudia Sandoval was born and raised in sunny San Diego, California, to a family originally from Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Chef Claudia grew up with her mother and grandmother, who taught her how to cook from a young age. In 2015 she went on to become the the winner of the sixth season of MasterChef U.S. with Gordon Ramsay.

After winning the coveted title of MasterChef, she began a successful culinary consulting and catering company under the name “Claudia’s Cocina,” in addition to working with important brands like Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, Neslté, Disney, T-Mobile, and Tajín; Chef Claudia published her bestselling cookbook “Claudia’s Cocina: A Taste of Mexico”.

Chef Claudia has moved on from contestant to Judge on various shows like, Chopped, Chopped Jr., MasterChef Latino, on Telemundo, and is now Judge on MasterChef Latinos on Estrella TV. Most recently Chef Claudia released a new food travel show called “Taste of the Border” on Discovery+.

Chef Claudia never stops, most recently launched her own line of Celebrity Chef Meal Delivery through a partnership with Home Bistro, ensuring that people all over the US can have a taste of what Chef Claudia is cooking.

Maylin Chávez

Maylin Chávez is a native to Tijuana, Baja California Norte and a Rancho la Puerta Alum. Maylin brings her heritage and passion for the sea to each dish she prepares. Her personal and professional experiences cooking in Baja, and around the country while being surrounded by the rich diversity of ingredients has created a direct imprint on her cuisine. “My approach to oyster and seafood cookery is to surprise the senses, and bring a mélange of globally inspired flavors to each bite you enjoy.”

Maylin moved to Portland, Oregon in 2014 to open her first restaurant where Oysters took center stage and the Bounty of the PNW met the flavors of her hometown of Baja.

Her cuisine and restaurant have been featured in Bon Appetite Magazine September 2016 issue, Best New Restaurants, Eater’s 38 hot list, Sunset Magazine, Food Networks Best Oyster Bars in America, Northwest Travel & Life, Wine and Spirits Magazine and many more.

Maylin has also appeared on the Food Network, Guy’s Grocery Games, and Chopped.

Olympia Oyster Bar on N Mississippi Ave in Portland shuttered its doors in 2020. However, Maylin has been hosting a series of pop-ups throughout Oregon under her new venture Nácar. Most recently she is also the Executive Brand chef for Blue Evolution Seaweed .

Kristin Magnussen

Kristin Magnussen Shute is the award-winning winemaker for Valle de Guadalupe winery Vinos Lechuza. Started by her father Ray Magnussen as a hobby in 2010, Lechuza has grown into one of the most popular wineries in the region because of their dedication to the craft and the merging of old world and new world styles. Lechuza is known for their sophisticated but approachable wines that have won over sommeliers and chefs around the world and have landed them accolades that include a coveted place on the wine list at The French Laundry in Napa, California (3 Michelin Stars). Kristin is proud of her family’s commitment to working “without borders” as ambassadors to Mexico’s modern wine movement around the world.

Visit Lechuza online at and connect with Kristin via social media @vinoslechuza.

Sample of Culinary Week Events




La Cocina Que Canta Cooking School and Culinary Center

Set in the heart of our six-acre farm, La Cocina Que Canta (“The Kitchen That Sings!”) celebrates the magical results of cooking with just-picked organic ingredients. The colors, aromas, and tastes that emanate from La Cocina are nothing short of amazing.

Ranch guests can join us for three cooking classes a week hosted by internationally renowned guest chefs and cookbook authors (check the events calendar for details).

Dining At The Ranch

We have developed, tested, and proven hundreds of recipes since 1940. Over eighty years of culinary creativity, experimentation and dietary research have culminated in a superb all-natural diet. Our fresh lacto-ovo cuisine provides protein, vitamins, minerals, and probiotics. It is low in fat, sodium, and refined flour and sugar — while high in energy, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. Portions can be abundant thanks to our recipes’ low calorie counts as well as your activity-filled days. Questions visit out Dietary FAQ’s.

The Dining Hall

Meal times at the Ranch are about creating camaraderie and community. Our guests frequently say that one of the best things about the Ranch is that they meet wonderful people. For these reasons we provide three meals at which guests can come together and enjoy each other’s company. Breakfast and lunch are informal while dinner is a sit-down affair.

Tres Estrellas Organic Farm

Guests at Rancho La Puerta enjoy the flavors of freshly picked fruits and vegetables year-round. Visits to our organic farm, located about 2 miles up the valley from most of our facilities and accommodations, take place almost daily: a favorite is an early morning guided hike that combines a 2-mile walk through rolling meadows and chaparral with a welcoming breakfast, a tour of the gardens, and an introduction to the principles of organic farming led by our charismatic head gardener, Salvador Tinajero. The garden and cooking school were designed and created by Rancho La Puerta President Sarah Livia Brightwood. Our ecological specialist, Enrique Ceballos, also assists Sarah Livia in the garden’s vision.

Bazar Del Sol

The Bazar Del Sol serves local wine from the Guadalupe Valley, has an espresso bar, and a boutique full of handmade artisanal creations from Mexico. Relax on an indoor sofa or on the outdoor patio to soak in the gorgeous mountain views.

The Ranch Program

In addition to all the Culinary Week events your week at Rancho La Puerta, your week will include classes that will energize your body, calm your mind, lift your spirits and get you ready to taste some of the freshest cuisine Baja has to offer

Every week at Rancho La Puerta you will enjoy:

  • Guided hikes on 40-miles of mountain trails each morning.
  • More than 50 daily fitness classes, including Pilates, Pickleball, Barre, TRX, Hydro-Fit, yoga, and Zumba.
  • Three farm-to-table meals, sourced from our organic garden and other local farms.
  • Eleven gyms, four pools, a running track, as well as tennis, Pickleball, basketball and volleyball courts.
  • Three full-service spas offering massage, facials, wraps, scrubs and other holistic therapies.
  • Art classes, including painting and sculpting.
  • Presentations on music-making, nutrition and brain health.
  • Mind-body classes such as mindfulness, meditation, Feldenkrais and sound healing.
  • Live evening concerts and entertainment with world-class performers.



Contact Us or Make a Reservation

To find out more or make a reservation during Culinary Week please fill out the form below.


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