Known as the “The Cinderella of the Pacific”, Ensenada stretches for 125 kilometres down the beautiful Baja California Peninsula in Mexico. This coastal city, with over 460,000 inhabitants, is home to the nation’s second most important port area, connecting a maritime network of over 68 ports in 28 countries worldwide. Aside from being an ideal location for fishing and mariculture, Ensenada is the largest wine producer in the region, producing 90% of the country’s wine across than 500 labels and 50 wineries. This diversity of natural resources provides to the city’s gastronomic sector a momentum to flourish.
Ensenada’s vision of food and gastronomy is aligned with creativity, sustainability, innovation and intercultural dialogue. Among other initiatives, the Ensenada for Everyone festival brings together ethnic minorities and immigrant groups to share a diversity of gastronomic know-how. The city also focuses on nurturing sustainable and innovative food systems through advanced scientific research and urban programmes, such as the Urban Vertical Gardens programme aimed at alleviating local food security issues by raising awareness on environmental-friendly cultivation methods and locally grown crops.
With its thriving sectors of wine and fisheries, the city takes care to cultivate its leadership through multi-stakeholders programmes, including the Cluster del Vino, launched in 2008 by the Secretariat of Agriculture, Cattle, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA). This programme aims to build bridges between local producers, research centres and governmental institutions, to work together and spearhead the development of common and innovative solutions related to sustainable management of natural and food resources.
As a Creative City of Gastronomy, Ensenada envisages:
- nurturing multi-stakeholder cooperatives and cross-cutting researches with other Creative Cities through the up-coming Laboratory of Cultural Innovation aimed at supporting research projects on social equality and environmental protection;
- fostering the urban quality of life and sustainable consumption of food with the creation of Ensenada’s Gastronomic District, as well as of the Food and Urban Dinning Bank; an exchange platform aimed at reducing food waste and offering social-urban diners targeting the most vulnerable groups of the city;
- developing the Gastronomic Landscape of Baja California programme to conduct research on regional cuisine, local ingredients and traditional know-how, and create an interactive online database with food production information and georeferenced environmental data;
- nurturing the role of gastronomy in improving environmental preservation and sustainable urban development through fora, including the International Design and Gastronomy Forum, Ensenada Creative Mornings and the Food Design and Science World Forum; and
- developing the International Culinary Exchange to implement a worldwide residence programme in Ensenada to engage with cooks, chefs and gastronomy experts from other Creative Cities of Gastronomy.