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A Culinary Quest: FINALISTS

Last month, we challenged chefs to use premium Pacifico True Striped Bass in the creation of a dish showcasing their talents and culinary inspiration for the chance to win a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit the gorgeous Valle de Guadalupe and take a tour of Pacifico Aquaculture – one of the most important aquaculture sites in the world. Out of all the incredibly entries in the #PacificoCulinaryQuest contest – our judges selected 10 incredible chefs to still be in the running for the incredible 4-day, 3-night Baja trip for one lucky chef and a guest! Scroll below to see the 10 finalists’s sustainable striped bass dishes, and stay tuned to see who will take home the Grand Prize!


FINALISTS


1.

Chef Moustafa Elakel

Grilled Pacifico Striped Bass with Heirloom Sunchokes Purée & Spicy Mediterranean Fennel Crab Salad

2.

Chef Brother Luck

Corn Milk / Poached Pacifico Striped Bass / Nopales / Various Seeds / Jamon

3.

Chef Mike Collantes

Seared Pacifico Striped Bass / Mussel and Tamarind Dashi / Traditional Veggies of Bok Choy, Tomato and Long Bean / Garnished with Achuete Oil and Crispy Potato

4.

Chef J Rivas

3-Way Pacifico Striped Bass: Cured-Sashimi-Seared / Pickled Mustard Seed / Black Garlic Purée / Bass Ramen Broth / Garlic Oil

5.

Chef Nathaniel Jones

Pacifico Striped Bass / Grilled Cucumber / Shaved Onion / Fresno Chili / Lemon Oil / Lemon Zest / Cucumber Vinaigrette / House Harvested Sea Salt

6.

Chef Shehu Fitzgerald

Pacifico Sea Bass Crudo with Avocado, Coconut Tiger Milk, Lemon Purée

7.

Chef Rena Frost

Stuffed and Roasted Pacifico Striped Bass with Fresh Herbs, Whole Garlic, and Ginger / Served with Roasted Portabello Mushrooms, Zucchini, Carrots, Squash and Baby Eggplant

8.

Chef Jeremy Song

HAND-TORCHED PACIFICO STRIPED BASS RARE
Striped Bass Demi-Glace / Labneh / Sunchoke / Golden Beet Purée / Kohlrabi Purée / Microgreens / Pickled Shallot / Purple Basil Oil / Asian Pear Ring Tempura / Tukmaria

 

9.

Chef Adam Branz

“Mojama de Lubina”
Pacifico Striped Bass cured with Chorizo Spices for a Mojama Texture / Served with Oil, Vidalias, Citrus Basil, Thyme and Jimmy Red Corn Crackers

10.

Chef Anders Benton

Pan Seared Pacifico Striped Bass/  Ceviche / Chicharrones / Hibiscus Dashi / Miso Risotto / Squid Ink


PRIZES


GRAND PRIZE: A BAJA CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE

Join the Pacifico team on a stunning journey of Ensenada to visit one of the most important aquaculture sites in the world on Isla Todos Santos in Ensenada, Mexico. The tour will begin in San Diego, CA. A driver will pick you and a guest up in San Diego to take the 2.5 hour drive to the site of the world’s only hatchery for striped bass. After a tour and deep dive into the rare world of larvae, smolt and brood stock, you will go check into a beautiful lodge in the Valle de Guadalupe to relax and enjoy dinner. The next morning, you will be picked up and taken to the harbor in Ensenada. From there, you will go by boat to the Pacifico Aquaculture farm site located on Isla Todos Santos – a protected bird sanctuary less than an hour by boat from Ensenada. After a tour of the farm and lesson in aquaculture, you will enjoy a beautiful lunch of Baja grilled striped bass prepared by the farm staff at their beautiful outdoor kitchen and barbecue.  
 
Upon the conclusion of the tour and lunch, you will head back to shore and take a short 45 minute drive back to the Valle de Guadalupe – a highly regarded area gaining attention and popularity from many people in the wine industry. You will have the option of taking a wine tour in the afternoon. After relaxing at the lodge, you will have dinner at the world-renowned, Deckman’s en el Mogor.  The next day, you will have a self guided tour of the famous wine country of the Valle de Guadalupe and a dinner in the valley. Your final morning, you will enjoy a hacienda style brunch overlooking the valley. At the conclusion of brunch, the tour will head back across the border and deliver you to the airport.
 
Our tour includes:
 
• Full Hatchery Tour and education on the raising of the world’s only ocean raised striped bass
• Boat Ride across the Ensenada Bay
• Site visit and farm tour on Isla Todos Santos
• 3 nights lodging in Valle de Guadalupe for you and a guest
• Wine Tours, brunch, 2 dinners
• Round trip air and ground transportation to the region
 

In addition to the chance to win the grand prize, 3 runners up will win a custom Pacifico Aquaculture rucksack filled with Chef’s Roll swag!