With a commitment of innovating the region’s cuisine, Misión 19, the famous Tijuana restaurant, celebrated its 12th anniversary with a great dinner party.
The dinner was sponsored by Chef Román Almaraz and Chef Mario Peralta, as well as collaborators and partners, who offered clients an original 5 course menu.
Regarding this special occasion, Chef Román Almaraz, born in Puerto Vallarta and someone who has been working in this kitchen for 6 years, remembered his beginnings, which is something that brought him an endless amount of joy, as he was a witness to the expansion, growth, new ideas, challenges, products, and flavors that helped Misión 19 uplift its own creativity.
I’ve always been in love with this restaurant, from its concept to its techniques. Seeing half of its life has been amazing, with a lot of growth. It comforts me to have been able to achieve this goal and it makes me very happy. Anniversaries are very special days because you don’t always do the same thing in each one, the style of flavor changes, and also what you want to do with the dinner.
Previously, attendants were welcomed at Bar 20 with three special drinks: a Tamarind Martini with pineapple froth and coconut, a Mezcalero from 400 Conejos with pineapple flesh, mango, and kiwi, candied by grasshopper salt, and a Pepino Misionero with chia, lemon, and vodka.
The canapés were a goat sopito and fresh oysters with mignonette sauce .
Mario González, partner of Misión 19, spoke about what this restaurant represents and its future:
Currently, there is an evolution and an expansion of the concept and idea of what Misión 19 means. Today, after all the challenges we’ve had, we are renewing what the restaurant is once again. Every three months we will collaborating with new wineries, we will cook new conceptual dinners, and we will have guest chefs. I think it is important to start doing that again.
As a historical fact, Vía Corporativo, where this restaurant is located was built in 2010 by architect Ramón Guillot Lapiedra and it became the second self-sustainable building in the country.
The origin of the name Misión 19 comes from the 18 current missions that exist in Baja California which were built by several different Catholic orders: Jesuits, Franciscans, and Dominicans. These religious settlements indoctrinated, but also made the surrounding areas grow. The restaurant became the symbolic Misión 19 and it has as its mission revolutionizing food in Tijuana.
Livened up by a relaxed atmosphere and jazz music, the restaurant was the stage of a unique gastronomic experience that in the words of Chef Román Almaraz involves many things:
From the welcoming by the host in the bar, the drinks, the canapés, every single person that assists you says: “Thank you very much, come back again, we’ll wait for you.” This also involves the creation of dishes and how one can play with your first course so that it matches your second course, and on and on subsequently. For me every step is a way for the client to get that globalization of what it means to enjoy a dinner with the flavors that we present.
Regarding the food, the first course was created by Chef Mario Peralta and it consisted of a warm salad with sugar coated Jerusalem artichoke, shimeji mushrooms, Romanesco, and lamb jus. This was served with fresh Sauvignon Blanc palomino wine from Casa Zamora with pineapple and lychee touches.
For the second course, Chef Román Almaraz presented their famous grilled octopus, a dish that has always been in the menu as it is one of people’s favorites. It was accompanied with elephant garlic jelly, tomato sauce, burned habanero oil, and beef rib rind. It was marinated with a Tempranillo rosé from Santos Brujos.
In the interim, while managing the plates and work rhythm from the kitchen, Chef Román Almaraz praised the culinary creations:
I feel that they are very tasty and delicious flavors. For me, personally, they bring back memories and images from years ago, when I was practicing in this restaurant or when I was a boy. Each one is different. It is something very beautiful, to be honest. Every dish is incredible.
The third course, courtesy of Chef Mario Peralta, was made up of Muscovy duck breast. It was garnished with several smoked vegetables and Mexican pepperleaf caviar. It was accompanied by a great Cabernet wine from Santo Domingo.
The dinner was interspersed with pleasant speeches. Mario González deeply thanked those who have contributed to the restaurant’s success:
It is about thanking and understanding the new generations of young people who are here, so that they appreciate it, and also join this expansion that we are trying to do. We want Misión 19 to be at the top of the world, we want to be the first option for a weekend meal, an anniversary, or a special occasion. I also want to thank Román Almaraz and Mario Peralta, who was first generation, my partners and collaborators, for having the strength to be here and for their dedication.
In the fourth course, a wagyu steak was served alongside terso mashed potatoes, beef cuts, and maldon salt, a creation by Chef Almaraz. This was served with a Cabernet Sauvignon wine of Norte 32 Teziano, which had smoked blackberry and vanilla touches.
In an exclusive interview, Chef Román Almaraz said:
What stands out about Misión 19 is that we use different techniques, flavors, and we play with textures which other places don’t have. One of the most important things is that we are an auteur cuisine and that involves a lot of creativity from the chef and their staff. Our style begins with the team: they are well established and they get along to define many things. We use fresh products from the region, very close to the area where we are.
After experiencing two important crisis, the first one being insecurity in 2008 and the other one being the COVID-19 pandemic, the restaurant adapted and changed its style to serve the customers at home, which they started to do by making burgers and fries that could be delivered. This shows the important resilience that they had so as to not close down, something that is still ongoing today, now consolidated and strengthened.
Being aware of the commitment that it means to be a representative of local gastronomy, Chef Román Almaraz said:
You not only have to focus on the flavors you have and know; the idea is to research and learn what other kitchens are doing here and in the rest of the country. It is about creating experiences, memories, and smiles that will help us move forward. It is to know that we can improve what we are doing.
Dinner ended with a delicious terrarium created by Chef Edgar Molina. It had a creative fantasy montage which made it look like a mushroom and it included vanilla, black toffee truffle, 70% chocolate branches, and Earth honey.
For more information about Misión 19, visit their social media pages:
To make a reservation, call 664 634 7322
If you wish to visit Misión 19, here’s their location: