Diego Hernández Baquedano
Abalone from Ensenada with almond mole
La Villa del Valle, S/N Km 88, Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California
In a nutshell: Set in the beautiful surroundings of the Valle de Guadalupe in Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, Corazón de Tierra is the perfect showcase for chef Diego Hernández Baquedano’s inventive cuisine.
Chef CV: Hailing from nearby Ensenada, Hernández has worked with great Mexican chefs including Enrique Olvera, Guillermo González Beristáin and Benito Molina. He opened Corazón de Tierra in 2011 and also owns the Troika taco truck.
The cooking: Taking his international experience and combining it with Mexican ingredients, Hernández creates modern versions of traditional dishes such as the tamal, Mexican bean soup, or pain d’epice with cactus dessert. His motto is “organic, local, sustainable,” – the restaurant grows its own herbs, fruits, veg and even olive oil and honey, with other ingredients supplied locally.
On the menu: Hernández’s offering changes daily, but might include clams with chocolate and crunchy tuna tostaditas.
Drinks pairing: Corazón de Tierra is joined to boutique B&B Villa del Valle, as well as the Vena Cava winery, so there’s no shortage of Baja Californian wines on the menu. There are also options for local beers and, of course, mezcal.
What else: In 2017, Hernández opened Verlaine in West Hollywood, with a menu incorporating Mexican, Mediterranean and Japanese influences.
Images: Luis Meza and Alejandro Alarcón c/o Bien Media