To mark the inauguration of the “Mexico 1900–1950” Exhibition at the Grand Palais, Le Cordon Bleu Paris welcomed two Mexican Chefs and a Mexican viticulturist.
On Wednesday 5 October 2016, in partnership with the Mexican Embassy in France, Le Cordon Bleu Paris welcomed Chefs Benito Molina and Solange Muris from Manzanilla restaurant and viticulturist Hugo D'Acosta in the presence of the Mexican ambassador to France, Juan Manuel Goméz Robledo.
The Chefs began with a cuisine demonstration which was followed by a presentation and tasting of Baja California wines by viticulturist Hugo D'Acosta.
On the menu for the culinary demonstration:
- Fish in a smoked broth with beans
- “Manzanilla” style abalone
- Quail noughts and crosses
- Clandestino Blanco, Aborígen, Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California, Mexico
- Contraste Intercontinental, Casa de Piedra, Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico
What is the background of these individuals?
Solange Munis was born in Cuernavaca (Morelos).
Upon her return to Mexico, she took on her first role as cuisine Chef at the El Ingenio Restaurant in her home town, before being contacted by Chef Benito Molina to ask her to join the team at the Bodegas de Santo Tomas in Ensenada (Baja California).
After working together for a year, they decided to go into business together and opened their own restaurant at the port of Ensenada, both banking on the bright future of the Baja California.
Together with Benito Molina, Solange Munis presents a successful television programme Benito y Solange aired on the Utilísima channel.
Benito Molina Dubost was born in Mexico in 1968.
He carried out his professional training at the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont (United States) which was where he met his mentor, Michel Le Borgne, Maître Cuisinier de France, who gave him the opportunity to work with one of his confreres, another Maître Cuisinier de France in his native Brittany, where he learnt to master classic seafood techniques.
During his time in France, he visited San Sebastiàn for the first time and was astounded by all that Basque gastronomy has to offer. He then worked in Boston (Massachusetts) alongside the famous Chef, Todd English, in his Olives restaurant, initially as “chef de partie” at the wood-burning oven before being put in charge of doughs.
He was subsequently employed by the prestigious Mexican œnologist Hugo D’Acosta as cuisine Chef at his restaurant, La Embotelladora Vieja, in Ensenada (Baja California) where he met his future wife, the talented Chef Solange Munis. Thirteen years ago, they decided to open their own restaurant together which they called Manzanilla in honour of the olives produced in the region.
Manzanilla currently specializes in local, sustainable products and is a benchmark on the Baja California and Mexican gastronomy scene.
According to Life & Style magazine, Manzanilla is one of the last decade’s three most important Mexican restaurants.
In 2013, it was awarded a prize by Millésime.
He launched a small school for the professions of the future with Casa de Piedra, in the Guadalupe valley (Baja California), which is dedicated to revitalizing the traditional trades linked to grape and olive production, as well as promoting and spreading the message that wine should become a way of life.
In partnership with producers in Baja California, he is currently developing the Tropósfera project which aims to understand wine without any predefined limits.
Hugo Enrique D’Acosta López is a Mexican viticulturist and a graduate of the National Institute of Further Education in Agricultural Science of Montpellier (France) and the Agricultural University of Torino (Italy).
He has been working in Baja California since 1988 and has taken part in a number of wine harvests for Bodegas de Santo Tomás.
He is currently in charge of a number of projects, notably with Casa de Piedra, Paralelo, Aborigen, Firmamento, Unión de Productores, Bruma and, in the Roussillon region of France, La Borde Vieille and Feilluns.
See photos of the event: