Chef Rene Andrade of Ghost Ranch Modern Southwest Cuisine and Tempe Public Market Café returned to his roots in April for the annual Festival del Chef Sonora in Hermosillo, Mexico – a showcase of global culinary talent. Andrade made tuna crudo and slow-roasted chickens over a mesquite fire, joining Pizzeria Bianco chef Chris Bianco, Talavera chef Samantha Sanz and artist Gennaro Garcia for three days. He came back with plenty of inspiration.
La Guera Cirujana
Forty-five minutes west of Hermosillo in the town of Bahía de Kino, owner and chef Diana Elizabeth Carrazco Lopez splits scallops open “right in front of you” and tops them with lime juice, fresh salsa, sea salt and chiltepin pepper and serves them in their shells. “They are just amazing,” Andrade says.
La Ruta del Rio Sonora
“Rio Sonora is this [road that] tells you all of the story of Sonora,” Andrade says. It starts at the Arizona border and cuts south through Hermosillo to the coastline of Guaymas, passing many pueblos, each showcasing their own flavors and techniques, from carne asada to tortillas. “It is just so amazing how the culture changes in like, literally, like minutes of driving.”
The chiltepin pepper is small but packed with immense flavors. Andrade says he would like to incorporate these “fruity” yet spicy peppers into the salsa and ceviche recipes at Ghost Ranch. Because his family grows chiltepines in Baviácora, Sonora, Andrade can source the peppers directly.