Northwest Meets Southwest Infusion Cuisine in Sinaloa Mexico
In January 2014, I was sponsored by Mexico Land Tours and the Secretary of Tourism of Sinaloa to be a guest chef, and the first to represent the United States, at the Winter Food Festival in Los Mochis Mexico. This is an annual event well promoted to the culinary students at universities throughout Mexico. Called the Festival Gastronomicao de Invierno in Spanish, the festival is a three day symposium of demonstrations and workshops instructed by renowned regional chefs, celebrating the bounteous agricultural crops cultivated in the fertile valleys naturally irrigated by rivers flowing out of the Copper Canyon.
I took with me Huckleberries, elk meat, and wild mountain sage from my Montana home to share with students and use in a dinner I prepared for representatives from the Department of Tourism and Governor’s office. My invitation to participate and demonstrate my Northwest Meets Southwest style of infusion cuisine and use of dry rubs, also included an eight day tour package starting with a tour of Topolabampo Bay, and climaxing with a train ride through the Copper Canyon on the Chihuahua Pacific passenger train, better known as El Chepe.
I was welcomed with open arms and treated warmly by the people of Sinaloa all along my tour. I have been asked to return to share my style of cuisine through more restaurant tours to promote tourism and the similarities which the great states of Montana and Sinaloa have in common. Much like Montana, the quest for gold, silver and copper brought settlers to the Sierra Madres Occidental Mountains. Cattle raising still is one of the main industries of the coastal river valleys along with agricultural crops such as wheat, grains, and corn.
A unique dinning and travel adventure awaits you in this ultimate South of the border travel tour. A diversity of scenery, regional traditions, and gastronomical delights like nothing you have ever experienced. Throughout your tour, you will partake of many types of regional cuisine. I will team up with chefs along your journey to add a taste of the Northwest US, prepared with field ripened produce from the bread basket of Sinaloa, fresh fish and seafood from the Sea of Cortes, and beef raised on the lush naturally irrigated grasslands of the l El Fuerte Valley. You will be warmed and welcomed by the friendly people of the coastal city of Los Mochis, immersed in the rich history of the Conquistador Pueblo of El Fuerte, and wowed by the spectacular grandeur of the Copper Canyon.
Upon arrival, you will be greeted by your personable driver and tour guide. After checking in at your hotel, and some time to freshen up, a welcome dinner and glass of wine awaits you at Restaurant El Pura Culidad. Dine on fresh-caught fish and seafood from the Sea of Cortes and Topolobampo Bay.
Next stop El Maviri Island. It is the region’s local beach area and an actual island with a modern concrete bridge that crosses over a channel on to the island. Eat at one of 15 restaurants on the island, some of which are right on the beach facing The Sea of Cortes. Shrimp is king in this region of Mexico as well as Red Snapper and other delicious catch of the day seafood. The Red Snapper is prepared with a non-spicy wet rub then topped with shrimp, grilled onions cooked over mesquite wood.
A city tour to Los Mochis will take you to the city’s botanical garden said to have been the personal garden of the founder of Los Mochis (Benjamin Jonston) and the city market place (El Mercado), Memory Hill (a scenic view point) and the main city church (La Iglesia del Sagrado Corazon) are also included in the tour.
After breakfast on day three, we depart from Los Mochis and travel to El Fuerte, Sinaloa (approximately 1 hour drive time). El Fuerte was founded in 1563 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco de Ibarra. In 1610 a fort was built to ward off the fierce Zuaque and Tehueco Indians. A replica of the fort still stands today and is now used as the city’s museum. El Fuerte is also believed to be the birth place of Don Diego de La Vega also known as the legendary El Zorro. A walking tour will be offered after lunch to the fort (museum), town hall, the El Fuerte river (Rio El Fuerte) and more.
All aboard Mexico’s most panoramic train ride, the El Chepe train service travels from sea level to 2,285 meters (7,500 feet) in less than 240 kilometers (150 miles), passing through 86 tunnels and soaring over 37 bridges to Estacion Posada Barrancas situated at the rim of the Urique Canyon, your home for three nights. Engineers and laborers spent nearly 100 years designing and constructing this corridor through the Copper Canyon, and now the spectacular views make this one of the world’s most exciting train journeys. The Copper Canyon is four times larger than the Grand Canyon of Arizona.
Explore the surrounding canyons and vistas, take a walk along the canyon rim or simply gaze at one of the greatest natural treasures of North America. Learn about the geological forces that created the seven individual canyons, collectively known as Copper Canyon or Barrancas del Cobre. Meet the local Tarahumara Indians, a semi-nomadic tribe whose ancestors have lived in the canyon’s caves for thousands of years, and learn about their natural remedies, arts & crafts and their capacity to run long distances barefoot (subject of the “born to Run” book) .
Enjoy an amazing view aboard the new aerial tram and descend into the canyon to experience its grandeur in a way few have done before or ride the world’s longest zip-line and get the adrenaline rush of a lifetime. Enjoy a guided walking tour to some of Mexico’s most scenic view points accompanied by a local guide.
Your last morning in The Copper Canyon can be filled with activities or you can elect to relax at your hotel taking in the sights that surround you. Horseback riding and walking tours are just some of the options that are available to you. Board the El Chepe for your return trip to Los Mochis and final night’s stay.
On Facebook search Destino latino Cuisine