LONDON, UK. On Sunday, May 31, Valle de Guadalupe restaurant La Cocina de Doña Esthela was awarded "Best Breakfast in the World" by international culinary website and mobile app FoodieHub. The award was presented at the organization's third annual global awards ceremony held at famed eatery, St. John Bread & Wine in London. Soho chef Martin Morales presented the award, which was accepted on behalf of Doña Esthela by Nicholas Gilman of the website Good Food in Mexico City.
FoodieHub is the worlds' largest global network of local food experts, representing over 150 cities around the world. Collectively, these experts have eaten, photographed, documented and catalogued over 4,000 individual dishes and destination dining recommendations, which are found on the FoodieHub website and app. The organization hosts global and regional award ceremonies annually to recognize the best in fast feast and destination dining categories.
"It's not easy to pick winners across so many nominations," FoodieHub CEO Jeffrey Merrihue recently shared, "So our methodology is similar to that of other food awards whereby local experts nominate items and a central team tries the items on a rotating basis."
As the "Foodie Hub Expert" for the Valle de Guadalupe, I had the honor of nominating La Cocina de Doña Esthela for this year's award. I visited the restaurant a few months prior to the nomination and enjoyed Doña Esthela's famous machcaca con huevos (dried beef with eggs), pan de elote (corn bread) and a sampling of my amigo's chorizo con huevos (spiced sausage with eggs).
VIDEO: The Tastiest Breakfast In The World
La Cocina de Doña Esthela's traditional Mexican cooking was "discovered" by the hungry cast and crew of a telenovela (soap opera) filming at the nearby Hacienda la Lomita vineyard a few years ago. Word of her traditional Mexican breakfasts spread and tables have been packed with locals and hungry day-trippers from Baja and Southern California every weekend since.
In addition to her talent for preparing traditional northern Mexican food, Doña Esthela has a solid "make it work" attitude and ethic - she built her rustic restaurant onto her home as business grew. It's a beautifully planted and decorated ramshackle - as are all the best spots in Baja California - that provides a glimpse into what her family's life is like out in the middle of wine country.
Doña Esthela is the heart and soul of the place. She's a constant, warm, smiling and welcoming presence in the restaurant. I chatted with her as she was delivering a large basket of freshly baked bread and pastries to the kitchen and she presented us with a bag of these treats to take home when we said our hasta luegos.
Here is a description of Doña Esthela's award-winning machaca dish from the FoodieHub website:
Doña Esthela's machaca is spiced with serrano chiles, bell pepper and garlic, scrambled with fresh eggs from her small farm, and served with a rich, peppery side of refried beans. Her large, warm, paper-thin, house-made flour tortillas and crumbly farmer's cheese are offered with every breakfast.
FoodieHub's Best Breakfast in the World category included nominees from cities as diverse as Baltimore, London, Melbourne, Mumbai, New Orleans, Orange County and Tokyo which demonstrates FoodieHub's global reach and further validates the growing worldwide popularity Valle de Guadalupe cuisine and chefs have been enjoying recently.
La Cocina de Doña Esthela is located at Rancho san Marcos el Porvenir. From Highway 1 heading north, turn right on the dirt road where signs point to Hacienda la Lomita. +52 646 156 8453, Facebook: La Cocina de Doña Esthela
To see a list of all the FoodieHub Global Award 2015 winners, visit: http://www.foodiehub.tv/awards/global-2015
To see other FoodieHub meal and restaurant recommendations in the Valle de Guadalupe, visit it's Valle page.