“Mexican cuisine is highly respected, accepted and above all beloved around the world. I think Los Cabos today is at its best for the service, the cuisine, and the level of professionalism. It is our great moment and we must take advantage of every opportunity.” Alfonso Cadena
In the dishes of Carbón Cabrón you can find all the herbs and vegetables harvested in Los Cabos, as well as the cheeses and other dairy products from local rancherias. And don’t forget the chicken from Miraflores and, of course, the fish prepared over charcoal that is honored with Chef Poncho Cadena’s seal of approval.
With his characteristic humor, the Chef opened a window of transparency to who runs one of the restaurants nominated by the jury in the Culinary Awards as the best culinary concept, best new restaurant and restaurant of the year.
“I grew up around the stove and the markets. When I stopped playing in a musical group, I found the same emotion in pots and pans that I felt in the rehearsal room, in composing and in live concerts.”
This is how the Chef met the wonderful world of cooking. He continued his culinary studies in Canada and discovered his own style, which he describes as free. Fresh products and ingredients, aromas and, of course, music are his inspirations.
“I can only describe my life through dishes and flavors. I cook for myself and for people who share my vision. I try to be happy by feeling free.
The 90s was a decade of cultural fusions around the world. When you add that to the French influence of my grandmother and my dad, incorporating my ancestry with Mexican cuisine was a natural process. For me, French cuisine is technical, Mexican cuisine is ingredients.”
In partnership with his brother, whom he describes as a man of design, the two choose the name and setting of each restaurant. They combine words that have a phonetic impact and represent the Chef.
“It’s definitely a matter of working together with Nacho. I could never imagine my culinary career without my brother. Just as I know what I like to cook and eat, the right space is essential. I tell Nacho what I perceive around me and Nacho does his magic.”
In addition to cooking, Poncho finds it exciting to be in contact with the products and to know their origins. He also appreciates the challenges, the ups and downs and everything else that goes into being a chef. He highlights the basics in his dishes using local ingredients such as butter, herbs and chilies.
“Maybe one of the things I love the most is doing everything possible so that people tell me the dish I designed is extraordinary. It can be described as ego.”
Poncho has experienced many important moments in his life such as appearing on El Gourmet, opening the restaurants La Leche in Puerto Vallarta and Hueso in Guadalajara, attending Madrid Fusion, and working in The French Laundry restaurant in Napa Valley.
“The opening of restaurants is always a challenge. When we started Carbón Cabrón in Los Cabos, it blew my mind! Truly, my reunion with the desert was the best. It was the beautiful seas and beaches, the embrace between desert and ocean, the climate, the people. I think it’s a good time to be a part of this tourist destination.”
“More than anything, the Culinary Awards Los Cabos recognize the substantial effort we make to highlight the great cuisine of the destination. Participating in this event was a good way to find out if I am at the level of the other Chefs and restaurants of Los Cabos. My experience in the first event was truly positive! I’m sure the next edition will be even better.”