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LaFrida Festivals: Special Themed Dinners for Foodies

Feb 09, 2024

Continuing the success of the culinary-inspired LaFrida Festivals staged last year from September through December, the award-winning LaFrida Restaurant at Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach has scheduled three themed dinners in the weeks ahead:

  • Mayan Cuisine Flavors – February 29
  • Yucatan and its Roots – March 7
  • LaFrida’s Anniversary – March 21

The venue for this trio of gala culinary events could not be better. LaFrida, its magical interior inspired by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, has always offered a unique approach to Mexican cuisine, introducing diners to eclectic dishes and bold flavors. Under the helm of 32-year-old Anaisa Guevara, named head chef at LaFrida 18 months ago, the AAA Four Diamond restaurant has truly come into its own.

A native of Tijuana, Guevara decided as a teenager to dedicate herself to a career in the culinary arts. Her work experience is a clear indicator of her ambitions and talent. 

Before arriving in Los Cabos, she had stints at two Michelin 3-star restaurants—the Addison in San Diego, Calif.; and Restaurant Arzak in San Sebastian, Spain. “I learned a lot of French techniques at the Addison,” she says. “At Arzak, in the Basque region, I learned about the region’s culinary traditions, the more than 500 spices in use, and the influence of flavors drawn from Spain, France, Portugal, Italy and Africa.” 

LaFrida has given Guevara free rein to create a journey of fresh sensory experiences for diners. As evidenced by the current menu, she has infused her deep reverence for Mexican cuisine in her dishes, injecting contemporary flair into classic recipes. 

“I spent six months getting to know the staff and learning about the DNA of LaFrida,” she says. “I didn’t introduce my first menu until I absorbed everything I could about the dining room’s traditions. What we serve is my interpretation of Mexican cuisine without losing the classic LaFrida spirit.” 

On her short list of what she found among the kitchen’s essential ingredients: oregano, clove, cinnamon, garlic, onion, chile chilhuacle, and Oaxacan mole sauces.    

One LaFrida tradition Guevara has perpetuated is corn tortillas made the time-honored way using the nixtamal process. The word nixtamal comes from Nahuatl, composed of the word nextli (ashes) and tamalli (corn dough). This pre-Hispanic preparation has been handed down from generation to generation. Nixtamal is the process of cooking corn with water in a large pot over a fire, grinding the grains in a stone metate, and forming the dough to make tortillas, tamales and gorditas, each a pillar of Mexican cuisine. As LaFrida patrons have discovered, these staples made from nixtamalized corn have a superior consistency, are more nutritious and have an irresistible texture than mass-produced items. 

For the Mayan Cuisine Flavors 5-course dinner, Guevara is planning to make a dish called stone soup. After stones are super-heated and placed into a coconut shell, seafood, fish broth and vegetables are added. While the menus for the Festival events have not been finalized, Chef Anaisa expects to make wild pig (boar) with black mole and wild rice, a classic Oaxacan dish. Cost is $115 USD for guests on meal plan, $130 USD for public. 

The Yucatan and its Roots 5-course dinner, Guevara says, will continue the Mayan theme, tapping into the traditional dishes of the Yucatan Peninsula and its culinary epicenter, Merida. These may include variations of treasured dishes such as cochinita pibil, salbutes, panuchos, queso relleno, and sopa de lima. Cost is $115 USD for guests on meal plan, $130 USD for public. 

LaFrida’s 19th Anniversary dinner will be a very special evening. LaFrida, along with Fellini’s, Peninsula, and Quivira Steakhouse, is one of Pueblo Bonito’s four designated Fine Dining restaurants. Each is headed by a highly acclaimed chef devoted to creating unforgettable culinary experiences, and each has been invited to prepare a dish for the Anniversary dinner. The 8-course meal, to be paired with wines, will be “super dynamic,” Guevara says. Entertainment will be provided by a jazz band. Cost is $135 USD for guests on meal plan, $160 USD for public. 

NOTE: Seatings for the LaFrida Festivals dinners will be every hour from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Dress code is resort elegant. Reservations are required.