Thursday, April 30, 2015

Chef Melissa Magallon and her Restaurant Allure San Diego

Allure Restaurant San Diego is a family-owned restaurant, located in the heart of downtown San Diego's Gaslamp District, a place I love to visit. 
Executive Chef  Melissa Magallon and her family have enjoyed owning  and operating Allure San Diego since 2014
Chef Melissa has great talent- she is very creative and loves to play with food. Each dish has its own distinct character with great flavors and amazing presentation, you can tell that definitely  she is a creative person. 
Allure Restaurant was one of the first restaurants in The Gaslamp Quarter I have tried many different plates, and all are so delicious, that it is always difficult for me to decide! 
Of course, you should not take my word, but try this wonderful place yourself!
Fore more information, see Allure San Diego on Facebook at:

Monday, April 27, 2015

Chef Erick Alcazar and Costa Oeste Restaurant

En dias pasados visite nuevamente el Valle de Guadalupe en Mexico, que ha sido indudablemente lugar para descubrir en todos los aspectos, los lugares, la gente, mi proyecto y sobre todo la comida. 

Hoy les cuento un poco de este lugar Restaurant Costa Oeste en la Vinícola Rondo del Valle, con el Chef Erick Alcazar, un joven dinámico con ideas originales, y muy enfocado en la calidad de su producto final. 

El concepto que presenta este restaurant me gusto mucho muy original es una cocina, simple y muy bien elaborada con una excelente presentación producto de un cuidado especial en el detalle. Me encanto la idea que usan productos locales y nacionales, utilizan y resaltan productos de la temporada promoviendo y moviendo la economia del propio territorio. El menu que propone el Chef Erick es itinerante, utilizando productos frescos y evitando así utilizar productos congelados. Una gran muestra de profesionalismo. 

Un equipo muy joven pero muy interactivo, y dinámico. Cuentan con una vista extraordinaria a los viñedos y el lugar es al aire fresco, perfecto para los días de verano. 

Chef Erick Alcazar inicio su tractoria en pequeños restaurantes en Ensenada en el 2000 y ha pasado por grandes restaurantes a nivel nacional e internacional, como Sous Chef en el Restaurante Corazon de Tierra en Valle de Guadalupe, En el restaurant Tiramisu en Sicilia, Italia. en el Wild Honey en Londres Inglaterra etc. 

Tuve la oportunidad uno de sus platillos y su fabuloso dulce Panacotta con gelato de calabaza, simplemente delicioso, seguramente les ire compartiendo mas fotos de este Food styling Photoshoot. 

Restaurant Costa Oeste 
Twitter - @restaurantcostaoeste
Instagram @restaurantcostaoeste 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Little farmers market in Valle de Guadalupe

This weekend I visited my friends in Rancho Bonito, a quaint area, off the grid, near Valle de Guadalupe. Valle de Guadalupe is where 85% of Mexico's winds are produced! It is 2 hours south of San Diego, and reminded me a lot of the rustic Italian countryside.
During my weekend stay, I had the opportunity to visit many new places, including wonderful vineyards, local producers of beer and wine and lovely restaurants. Two days are not enough to see everything, but enough to get a feel for the wonderful vibe that Valle de Guadalupe offers. 

My Saturday morning was nice, visiting the local farmers market at Mogor Badan, followed by a wine tasting with the owner, Natalia, at Cavas del Mogor. The market is on Wednesdays and Saturdays. It is small, but full of wonderful products, like olive oil and veggies (produced there!), fresh local breads, marmalades, cheeses and other delicious foods. We brought some products for our dinner that night. I was so happy to be in such a beautiful place. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Giving love with my Charity project

I have been thinking for many months about a project I am calling Giving Clicks & Giving Love, that captured my heart as a photographer. Then, last weekend I went to Valle de Guadalupe in Baja California, Mexico. There, I finally found my inspiration, and her name is Maggie. 

Margarita, known to her family and friends as Maggie, is a little girl who is three years old. She has a lovely character, an amazing personality and is very talented. I decided to take some pictures of her, and to entertain her and get her excited, I gave her a camera and showed her how to use it. She immediately grabbed my attention- the way she followed all of my directions, and how intrigued she was by the camera. This was her first time with a camera, taking pictures. 

Maggie gave me so much inspiration! She lives with her grandparents, Noemi and Leo, who work for my friend's family, at their home near the Valle de Guadalupe, which is known as Baja’s wine country region, where 85% of Mexican wines are produced. 

My project is pretty simple, I want to teach photography to kids like Maggie. Most of these kids don't have the resources for photography, which usually (in this digital age) means a camera and maybe a printer, computer or tablet, too.

My idea was: why not give them the tools to learn and help them find their skills and develop their passion for a wonderful form of art, like photography. After our session, I reviewed Maggie’s photos, and was amazed at how she saw the world through that camera lens, and how beautiful the final product was.

What is Giving Clicks & Giving Love?

Giving Clicks & Giving Love is a project which gives kids under the age of 18 who live in the northern Baja California region the opportunity to enjoy the art of photography and develop their creativity through this medium. We all know the benefits of giving a young person an avenue through which they can express themselves, develop their critical thinking skills, and grow- emotionally and intellectually. 

Who can participate in Giving Clicks & Giving Love?

It is my hope that people who like photography, kids, and/or Mexico’s northern Baja region can help me make this project a success. 

How can you participate in Giving Clicks & Giving Love?

Well, many of us have one small camera that we don't use, maybe one extra memory card, or those cameras with film that we don't use anymore. Maybe you even have an extra computer or tablet, onto which photos can be downloaded.  

What is the next step for Giving Clicks & Giving Love?

Once I can have enough donated equipment, I will start the photography courses with kids in Valle de Guadalupe. My dream is to host a weekend class that is free to local kids, and I plan on sharing their progress in their journey with you and the readers of my blog. 

You can send me your contribution to: 

Cintia Soto 
PO Box 531643 
San Diego Ca. 92153 

Contact me if you want to contribute in different way. I can be reached via email at: info (at) cintiasoto (dot) com or contact me trough my Facebook

Cintia Soto