Spicy Cooking with Guillermo Gomez

Guillermo Gomez was recently named executive chef at Esperanza, an Auberge Resort in Cabo San Lucas. Gomez oversees the culinary direction of the resort’s six restaurants, including the acclaimed Cocina del Mar and new Pesca, as well as developing all the seasonal menus at Esperanza with a special emphasis on Baja’s local produce and purveyors.

Always looking for authentic cooking classes when I travel, we met Guillermo during dinner as we awaited Hurricane Newton. Inquiring on the preparation of a certain dish, he left the kitchen to visit our table and discuss the ingredients. Once he revealed he was from Cordoba, Argentina, we shared our exciting Argentine travel tales and favorite Francis Mallmann restaurants (Mallmann is the Thomas Keller of Argentina). Guillermo began cooking when he was 12, when his mother and grandfather taught him the fine Argentine art of asado – specifically cooking over a flame or on a grill.

Gomez’s cuisine is reflective of his international experience in destinations including Argentina, Spain, France, Italy, Uruguay, Mexico and the U.S.

Our afternoon class with Guillermo took place in the Cocina Del Mar bar, overlooking the Sea of Cortez…divine setting! Known for it’s exquisite variety of fresh fish, it was appropriate to begin with ceviche. Culture,culinary traditions and geographic ingredients, the perfect combination! Best to be accompanied with an icy Margarita!

We made a few dishes besides ceviche and guacamole – recipes below.


  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1 lime (juice)
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 romaine tomato, cubed without seeds
  • 1 tbsp. chopped onion
  • Serrano or jalapeño chili to taste, chopped without seeds (optional)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method: Avocados must be soft when squeezed gently. Cut avocados in half, cutting around the large, smooth pit. Separate the avocado halves and remove the pit. Scoop out the avocado meat from the skins. Use a whisk or a fork to mash the avocados until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients, mix very well and add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy traditional guacamole with crispy warm corn tortillas “totopos”
or for topping your fajitas.
Guillermo is entertaining and extremely friendly and very patient in sharing each recipe presentation, we didn’t feel rushed or intimidated by the class – he is so well traveled, it’s easy to chat with him and share travel experiences; clearly, his vast globe trotting has influenced his cuisine. Also, he was very patient when I wasn’t satisfied with my photos on a somewhat misty afternoon and needed extra shots!

Highly recommend culinary classes with Guillermo at Esperanza, an Auberge Resort.

¡Buen provecho!



Serendipitous Surprises…Esperanza, Cabo

Travel occasionally presents the most serendipitous surprises. Cabo, in Baja California Sur Mexico is known for many things, but certainly not risotto!  My first evening at Esperanza, an Auberge Resort in Cabo was a bit breezy. Despite waves walloping the rocks adding a bit of sea spray onto my table perched on a jetty near the precipice of the steep bluff, I was not going to dine inside.

A canopy of twinkling stars and warm blankets dispersed by the helpful staff convinced me to merely adjust my order from fresh fish to warm comfort food: a bowl of risotto. Initially, it seemed an odd menu item at the edge of the turquoise Sea of Cortez; however, once the fragrant steaming dish was delivered, I knew I had ordered the perfect feast. Italia move over, Mexico is on your heels!  Executive Chef Gonzalo Cerda, an Argentine chef, has more than mastered this delicious dish.

Not only was the risotto divine; as one of the managers escorted me to my casita, I raved about the interesting combination: Cabo & Risotto, noting that it was one of the most delicious risottos I’ve ever enjoyed. Later checking email, the risotto recipe had been mailed by the attentive staff while I dined!

Extraordinary meal, extraordinary service – a remarkable recipe at Esperanza!

The Chef
As Executive Chef, Gonzalo Cerda oversees the culinary direction of the award-winning Esperanza, an Auberge Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. A native of Argentina, Chef “Gonzo” Cerda brings his own personal touches to the locally inspired dishes at the resort’s five restaurants including its signature waterfront restaurant, Cocina del Mar. Cerda and his team transform evenings at Cocina del Mar with seasonal menus that highlight the region’s fresh seafood from the Sea of Cortez and Pacific Ocean accented with some of the finest Mexican spices and organic produce from local purveyors.

The Recipe
Mushroom Risotto for Two
Risotto Rice ( Arborio or Vialone Nano           1 cup
Onion                                                            1/2 of onion
Porcini Mushrooms dry or fresh                    .35 oz
Morilla (Morel)    Mushrooms dry or fresh      .35 oz
White Mushrooms                                        .35 oz
Bunapi Mushrooms                                      .17 oz
Maitake Mushrooms                                    .17 oz
Unsalted Butter                                            3.5 oz
Parmesan Cheese                                       1/2 cup
White Wine                                                  1 cup
Vegetable Broth                                           3 cups
Salt & Pepper                                              to taste
Chopped Garlic                                          1 Tbsp
Chopped Parsley                                        1Tbsp
Chopped Thyme                                        1Tsp

Directions First, add diced 1/4th of the onion with the garlic, cooking with a ¼ part of butter in a deep pan. Once onion is clear, add in rice, cooking until it is an intense white color. Add in white wine to deglaze. Cook the rest of the onion with the mushrooms.  If mushrooms are dried, place them in water until tender, drain and save water for risotto later on. Chop them and saute with onion,  then add the rest of the other mushrooms (the non-dried). Add salt, pepper, parsley and thyme. Then add in rice and begin cooking risotto with vegetable broth, little by little. Stir with a spatula very slowly and gently.

Once rice is soft and tender to your liking, add remaining cooled butter, and parmesan cheese till creamy.

¡Buen provecho!