Monday, February 26, 2024

Guanajuato food festival shines spotlight on native ingredients

Six award-winning chefs from all corners of Mexico will bring new flavors to the state of Guanajuato’s food scene during this weekend’s Endémico Festival.

Organized by the Guanajuato Tourism Ministry (Sectur), the festival takes over the best restaurants of San Miguel de Allende, León and Guanajuato on Nov. 10 and 11. For these two nights only, the participating chefs will create special dishes featuring endemic, or native, ingredients and dishes such as prickly pear cactus fruit, pasilla chili peppers, huitlacoche, cecina and of course, tequila and mezcal. 

Juan José Álvarez Brunel and others.
Guanajuato Tourism Minister Juan José Álvarez Brunel (center) with culinary industry figures at the October 25 announcement of the event. (Gobierno del Estado de Guanajuato)

“During Endémico, we will show off our roots and new culinary ideas, sharing both with the invited chefs and our renowned host chefs,” Tourism Minister Juan José Álvarez Brunel said.

Invited chefs hail from nationally and internationally recognized restaurants, including Corazón de Tierra in Ensenada and Arca in Tulum. Each night of the festival is expected to offer a completely unique dining experience, as chefs will alternate kitchens and cities. 

When and where is the festival?

The Endémico Festival runs from Friday, Nov. 10 through Saturday, Nov. 11.

Festival flier.
The culinary festival will take place in the cities of León, San Miguel de Allende, and Guanajuato. (Gobierno del Estado de Guanajuato)

Participating restaurants include Trattoria Terraza, Amatxi, Comedor Tradicional Hotel Alonso 10 and Hotel Villa María Cristina, in Guanajuato city; Casa Biznaga, La Vaca Argentina, María Luisa and Argentilia, in León; and Selina Rooftop, Florios, Maura Mesa de Sal Hotel Numu and Amatte Hotel, in San Miguel de Allende.

Which Guanajuato ingredients will chefs highlight?

Some of the featured ingredients that are locally grown or cultivated include: pasilla chilis, strawberries, nopal (cactus), xoconostle (prickly pear cactus fruit), escamoles (ant caviar), agave, huitlacoche (corn smut), chilcuague (gold root), garambullo (bilberry cactus fruit) and cajeta (goat’s milk caramel).

How can I attend?

San Miguel de Allende panorama
Amatte Hotel, Numu Boutique Hotel, Florios and Selina Rooftop are the San Miguel restaurants that will host Endémico. (Shutterstock)

Each restaurant will offer a unique gastronomic experience and menus will vary according to the chef. 

To attend the festival, reserve a ticket in person at any of the aforementioned restaurants. The tasting menu includes four courses and a drink pairing. Dinner seating begins at 7 p.m. and tickets cost 999 pesos per diner.

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