A Borderless Night at the Westgate Hotel

A Weekend of Food and Wine

Fall afternoons and evenings rank up there as my favorite in San Diego, especially downtown. America’s Finest City has a perfectly placed downtown and from the rooftop pool at the Westgate Hotel, the views are unlike any other in nearby hotels.

A weekend of food and wine celebrations at the Westgate Hotel brought guests from San Diego and Tijuana to experience the talents of Tijuana’s culinary students under the guidance of two acclaimed local chefs, Claudia Sandoval & Javier Plascencia.

On one Friday evening, a casual cocktail party ensued on the beautiful downtown rooftop with small bite stations created by the culinary students as guests perused them and mentors kept a watchful eye. The sun shone a golden hue across the pool deck while tunes sung by Lorraine Castellanos filled the air.

The following evening, the energy was slightly more aligned with the formal essence of the classic hotel with an air of excitement enveloping guests as they awaited the ballroom’s dining doors to open. San Diego’s General Consul of Mexico, Marcela Celorio, was an honored guest at the event, applauding the unity of our two countries so closely tied at this small intersecting corner on the globe.

Mistress of Ceremonies, Bilingual Hostess, Yolanda Selene Walther-Meade welcomed guests as they stepped out of the elevators onto the 2nd floor. A variety of tray-passed hors d’ouvres and champagne flitted about when an operatic flashmob quieted the room. The surprise performance signaled the opening of the ballroom. After much applause guests were treated to a stunning evening of courses prepared by Chef Javier & Chef Claudia with the assistance of the culinary students. Each course was paired with Baja wines and presentations from the winery representatives. Winemakers, Kris Magnussen Shute of Lechuza and Paolo Paoloni of Villa Montefiori, joined the event in person to explain the complexities and delicate processes of creating good wines in the Valle de Guadalupe of Baja California.

In lieu of national border tensions, CaliBaja collaborations are strong and fruitful and we look forward to continuing the tradition of appreciating our unique cultures for years to come. I was happy to be on the team to representing such talented examples of culturally immersed residents of our region.

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