San Diego Magazine (culinary week) - Rancho La Puerta

Celebrate Baja Cuisine
Culinary Week at Rancho La Puerta

July 22-29, 2023

Join us for a foodie adventure during Culinary Week, July 22 to 29, 2023, 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:
Drew M. Deckman, Deckman’s en el Mogor
Cody Requejo, FIISH
Martín San Román, El Original Pastel de Crepas Bistró
Iker Turcott, Vinos Terra Turcott

Marcelo Hisaki, Restaurante Amores
Reyna Venegas, La Cocina Que Canta and Rancho La Puerta


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Drew M. Deckman

Dynamic and outspoken Michelin Star chef Drew Deckman continually strives to run a zero-kilometer, sustainable, community-based restaurant, Deckman’s en el Mogor, with a kitchen that is completely outside and is solely fueled by wood and natural elements, and where the majority of ingredients come from the ranch or nearby sea.

His food is a combination of intricately composed plates and rustic elegant dishes. The guiding force of Chef Drew is sustainability. At his restaurant, he is 100 percent committed to the advancement of sustainability and renewable local farming, fishing, and ranching – from planting, harvesting, transporting, preparing, and recycling.

The restaurant has also been named to the list of San Pellegrino 50 Best Discovery.

Deckman earned his culinary skills under Gastro-master chefs Paul Bocuse and Jacques Maximin, and mentoring by star teacher and author Madeleine Kamman.

He has been a chef throughout Europe and earned a Michelin Star in Reinstorf, Germany until 9 years ago, when he chose a large pine tree in the middle of a ranch and vineyard, in a remote valley in Baja California, Mexico to put down his roots.

@deckmansenelmogor, @bajafishingchef

Cody Requejo

Sometime in the mid-80s, Chef Cody Requejo had his first sushi meal experience. What followed was an obsession that has turned into a full-fledged career for the past 3 decades. At 18, he quit a college culinary program and knocked on his favorite sushi joint’s backdoor hoping for an opportunity. An apprenticeship was offered and immediately he accepted. For several years he honed his skills, learned the ins and outs of Japanese restaurant culture, fish selection, and butchery, and eventually made his way behind the sushi bar. From there his career continued to grow, and in 2002 he opened his first restaurant, Tuna Town in downtown Huntington Beach, CA. There, he met Van Vu, who would later become his wife and business partner. In 2012, Chef Cody and Van invested in Roe Seafood and Fish Market in Long Beach, California, where Chef Cody’s passion for sustainable aquaculture began, as wild capture was expensive and difficult to source. In 2016, a new form of distribution was created that incorporated telling the story of sustainable aquaculture products coming out of Baja. Now, Chef Cody works for the Baja Kanpachi farm, Omega Azul, as their chef, brand ambassador, and sales strategist. He also recently opened FIISH in Culver City with his friend Chef Colin Whitbred. The pair share a passion for sushi, sustainable aquaculture, and sourcing local fish whenever they can.


Martín San Román

Chef Martin San Roman brings a vast array of international culinary experience and creativity to his craft. Born in Mexico City, he graduated from L’Ecole Lenôtre in Paris, France. His experience in Fauchon and Le Meridien Hotels in Paris, the London Hilton, and the San Diego Westgate led him to his role as chef-owner of Tour de France and Rincon San Roman, both in Tijuana, Mexico.

His cooking show with the Televisa Network ran for eight years with a strong following on both sides of the U.S. – Mexico border. San Roman has traveled the world representing Mexican classic and modern cuisine in Belgium, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, England, France, Germany, Guatemala, Japan, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States, and he has received more than 250 awards from 12 different countries.

He was head chef in charge of gala dinners for the Mexican Presidency at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, a member of the Mexico Culinary team in the “Bocuse d’Or” World Cuisine Contest, known as the “World Cup of Cooking Competitions,” Guest Chef Instructor for the European Commonwealth chefs in Brussels, Belgium, and team adviser for the Culinary Olympics in Erfurt, Germany. Chef San Roman is a member of Mexico’s Vatel Club; Academie Culinaire de France; Societe des Cuisiniers de Paris, and the American Culinary Federation. He was spokesperson for Tijuana Innovadora in 2012.

@eloriginalpasteldecrepas, @chef.martin.san.roman

Iker Turcott

Chef Iker Turcott is a graduate from “Universidad del Caribe” in Cancún Quintana Roo, with a degree in culinary arts.

He made his way in the world of gastronomy, working in different restaurants in Cancún and in other parts of México. He had the opportunity of making internships in Valencia, Spain, at the restaurant “La Sucursal” a two Michelin starred restaurant.  He also became head chef at the restaurant “La Cuizine” in Paris, France.

Upon his return to Mexico, he made the decision to dedicate his life to the arts of wine.

Iker arrived in the city of Ensenada, Baja California in June 2012, with the desire to learn how to make wine and thus, developed his own brand of wine.

He entered “La Estación de Oficios Porvenir” where under the tutelage of one of the best winemakers in the country, he learned about this beautiful art of wine making. At the same time, he worked as a sommelier at the renowned Mexican winery L.A. Cetto. He also graduated as a sommelier from Culinary Art School Tijuana.

Today he is the winemaker and owner of “Vinos Terra Turcott” and also chef-owner of “La Doble T, Cocina Sabrosa” in Valle de Guadalupe.


Marcelo Hisaki

Born in Mexico City to Japanese parents, Chef Marcelo grew up surrounded by a diversity of flavor, texture, color, and tradition that combined both Japanese and Mexican culinary heritage.

At an early age, his talent and discipline led him to earn a scholarship from Fondation Turquois Monaco to study French cuisine at the Lycée Hotelier de Monte Carlo and train in Michelin-starred restaurants Yoshi and Joël Robuchon, in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

In 2013, Chef Marcelo and his wife Chef Reyna Venegas opened Restaurante Amores in Tecate, Baja California. Their culinary concept is influenced by Mexican, Japanese and French cultures, using local produce with respect, love, and creativity.

He recently represented Mexico in the Bocuse d’Or Finale 2023, a prestigious culinary contest in Lyon, France, receiving the social commitment award as a recognition to his team’s involvement in support of migrants’ food insecurity in Baja California. Read more here.

He currently works as a mentor and teacher for new generations of culinary professionals at Culinary Art School and collaborates in the development of BRECHA, the first Mexican culinary innovation and research center.

@restauranteamores, @marcehisaki

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.




The Week

The highlights of Culinary Week are dining experiences and cooking classes featuring acclaimed regional chefs and the delightful cuisine of Baja California.

Sunday July 23:

  • Dinner at Rancho La Puerta, created by Chef Marcelo

Monday July 24:

  • Guest Reception and meet the chefs, snacks and sangria created by guest chefs
  • Cacao Ceremony

Tuesday July 25:

  • Chefs Maribel & David, hands on cooking class at La Cocina Que Canta
  • Dinner at Rancho La Puerta, created by Chef Deckman

Wednesday July 26:

  • Chef Deckman, hands on cooking class at La Cocina Que Canta
  • Lunch at Rancho La Puerta, created by Chefs Maribel & David

Thursday July 27:

  • Chef Marcelo, hands on cooking class at La Cocina Que Canta
  • Dinner al Fresco at Bazar Del Sol with Chef Martin San Roman and local winemaker.

Friday July 28:

  • Celebration Dinner at Rancho La Puerta, Chefs Marcelo Hisaki, Martín San Roman, Donaciano Pacheco, and Reyna Venegas.

Schedule activities is subject to changes. Additional charges apply to cooking classes and dinner at the Bazar.  Limited availability.

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.

Bean to Bar - Chocolate Class

Classes are led by Diego Ceballos, “Maestro Chocolatero,” who has been a chocolate maker for over ten years. He has worked in Venezuela at Cacao de Origen, in Tokyo at Green Bean to Bar, and in Paris at Chocolat Chapon.

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.

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.



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


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