TIJUANA, BAJA CALIFORNIA – Food Garden, an operator of culinary spaces, has announced that Mexico’s first mall-based food hall will have its grand opening in Tijuana in April 2015. The new concept will include over 11,000 square feet of space within the city’s prestigious Plaza Rio.
The new space will include 12 kitchens run by some of the region’s most notable chefs, a specialty coffee shop, two bars that will serve beer, wine and spirits and a demo kitchen for culinary workshops and classes. Additionally, a Marché-style gourmet market will offer an array of regional products such as cheese, wine, chocolates and homemade desserts.
The set of projects is based on a “gastronomic ecosystem” designed to benefit Tijuana and Baja California’s producers, suppliers and restaurateurs. Food Garden will follow the city’s lead in its effort to encourage new culinary talents to participate in Tijuana’s burgeoning culinary scene.
While the space’s culinary tenants have yet to be announced, El Gringo has heard on good faith that the lineup may include a celebrity chef recently featured on a network television food show, a rotisserie from Tijuana’s most renowned French-trained chef, a longtime family-run restaurant that makes the best carnitas in Tijuana and a popular new burger joint.
“The food hall in Zona Rio will provide the space and opportunity for culinary experimentation,” explained Ricardo Nevárez, Food Garden president and Tijuana resident for over a decade. “Startup is a lot easier for young chefs since there’s a low initial investment and a pre-designed scheme that removes most of the guesswork that comes with restaurant or retail planning.”
Food halls have become a haven for foodies as well as neighborhood populations around Mexico and the globe. At food halls costumers can enjoy imaginative cuisine and shop for quality handmade products in an environment that offers value and expedience in service. Food halls represent an evolution of the proposal of “food courts” – which are based on the model of franchises and fast food.
I’m hungry for April already! Check back with El Gringo for more information on the Food Garden Plaza Rio, and check out our very first video blog at the top of this page, if you haven’t already. Buen provecho!
Your Gringo in Mexico,