bulthaup (and no, it's not capitalized), the high-end kitchen designer and manufacturer, will host chef Javier Plascencia of Tijuana's Misión 19 for a five-course meal at its Robertson Boulevard showroom on March 22. The site asks you to RSVP by today, March 15. Check your wallet first; the price is $150 per person.
“My inspiration for this event is the color green and how it [is] very present in Mexican cuisine! EL VERDE ES VIDA!!!” says Plascencia on the event website. He lists olive oil, nopales (cactus), avocado and tomatillo as examples, plus Mexican herbs epazote and hoja santa. This is a dinner for which Spanish-English dictionaries were made.
Plascencia plans to serve mezcal-cured hamachi, pickled salicornia, grapefruit ice and chapulin salt in the first course. (Yes, your dictionary is correct — chapulin is grasshopper; finely ground pieces are mixed with the salt.) Then chipirones (squid) and pulpo (octopus) along with fries, a pesto of Mexican herbs, and green, Toluca-style chorizo for the second course. For the third course, Plascencia will cook Sonora beef meatballs, verdolaga (purslane, a succulent herb), chayote (a squash), and hoja santa consommé. Plus avocado and beef marrow tacos. Next comes banana leaf tamale with coconut and guanabana (soursop fruit) ice cream topped with pepitas (squash seeds). The fifth course consists of Baja California cheeses, pistachio-rosemary honey and tomatillo marmalade.
If you can't snag a seat or don't want to pay $150 — but were intrigued by the recent New Yorker article on Plascencia, or his creations at Test Kitchen in 2010 — remember that Tijuana is just a couple of hours drive from L.A.