Meet the Chef Behind Mexico’s Most Creative and Innovative Restaurants

He’s Cooking For the Soul of Baja 

Name: Javier Plascencia
Job Title: Chef Javier Plascencia

From Ensanda to Todos Santos, Javier Plascencia is taking the restaurant scene by storm in Baja California, Mexico. After cooking professionally for more than 34 years, Plascencia has made a name for himself as one of the most innovative and creative chefs in Mexico. “I knew I wanted to become a chef since I was a little boy,” Plascencia says. “I started off at a young age helping out at my parents’ Italian restaurants in Tijuana, and that’s where I discovered my passion for cooking. Once I was older, I decided to go to culinary school in San Diego.Chef Javier Plascencia


Since then, Plascencia has opened several successful restaurants in Baja California and Tijuana. “So much of my time is spent outside in nature, and that’s what I love,” he explains. “I try to ensure that all of my restaurants provide a full experience. Most of them are open-air and feature lush gardens, and we love to have an open kitchen that cooks with a lot of firewood for that authentic and homegrown feel.” For example, at Plascencia’s renowned Animalón restaurant, guests have the option to dine under a 200-year-old oak tree or on a stunning boat that sets sail across the seas of Baja California Sur.

“While the dishes themselves are different, they all maintain the same philosophy and style.”—Javier Plascencia Chef Javier Plascencia


When it comes to the food, Plascencia’s restaurants offer variety in flavor, but consistency in quality. “The menus are all different,” explains Plascencia, “and while the dishes themselves are different, they all maintain the same philosophy and style.” In addition to working closely with all of the fishermen in Baja California, he also prides himself in using the freshest local ingredients in everything he creates.

Plascencia’s restaurants

Whether you’re driving down from San Diego for a long weekend or simply want to explore the fresh flavors that Mexico has to offer, stopping by one Plascencia’s restaurants will give you a true taste of the abundant and fruitful land of Baja California. Chef Javier Plascencia

Javier Plascencia

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Allie Lebos graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2017 with a BA in Communication. While in school she was a staff writer at The Daily Nexus for nearly two years. Since graduating she has written for The Palisades Magazine, as well as Hidden Hills Magazine. Currently living in Santa Monica, Allie loves to indulge in good food, hot yoga, and daily walks along the beach; writing articles on travel, special events, as well as features on local businesses and individuals.

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