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Gordo-Con: The Heirloom Bean Encuentro at Alta Baja


Delilah Snell, the genius behind Alta Baja Market, had the idea to celebrate our heirloom beans and throw a real party. Years earlier, we had a nice dinner but this time we wanted to make some noise. COVID is still with us but it's arguably under better control and it's just been too long for some of us. Well, me, in particular. I wanted to have a party! 

Delilah had thought of everything so early October, I flew in, checked in and then was whisked off to Carlos Salgado's Taco Maria in Costa Mesa. I've known Carlos casually since the last dinner at Alta Baja but I will tell you, after a real dinner at Taco Maria, I am obsessed. The guy has too much talent. We're all lucky that he has this outlet. I can't wait to return.  

(L-R) Gustavo Arellano, Steve Sando, Carlos Salgado

Taco Maria

The actual two-day event started with a screening of my favorite Mexican movie, Victimas del Pecado, at the reknowned Frida Cinema, with an introduction by Los Angeles Times writer (and all around great guy), Gustavo Arellano. After the movie, I was interviewed by KCRW's Evan Kleiman. Evan hosts the radio show (and podcast) Good Food but I remember eating at her restaurant Angeli back in the 1980s when I was an Angelino for a short while. She's one of my favorite people and easily one of the best interviewers in the business. 

Delilah has an optional box lunch, which included Rancho Gordo Crimson Popping Corn, popped and dressed for the movie along with an amazing burrito from Burritos La Palma

 Her Nibs, Delilah Snell  (PHOTO: JOE BAUTISTA)

The menu, with some notes on serving times from Delilalh. (PHOTO: JOE BAUTISTA)



An exciting new artist on the scene is Alex C, seen here conferring with his agent before presenting another wonderful masterpiece. I snatched up Beans are cool and it's in the process of being framed.   (PHOTO: JOE BAUTISTA)




I was so happy that my pal, Moises Plascencia, showed up with some seeds and corn from one of his many agriculture projects in Orange County. He's got a new gig working with schools and we'll have some good news about this project soon.  (PHOTO: JOE BAUTISTA)






I wish I had the talent to describe how much fun the event was. The theater was packed for Victimas del Pecado and Delilah organized meals for two shifts of 90+ people each. That was a real crowd. There was a crew of talented volunteers and of course, the chefs that made all the great food happen. I hope every single person involved knows how much I appreciate what they did and I am rarely at a loss for words, but ding dang- this was too much. 

We're all taking notes for the 2023 version and nothing would make me happier than you joining us. 


If you still want more, here's a recap of the event I did with Delilah, "the morning after", and I even quote Valley of the Dolls




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