Local Chef Leaves for an Opportunity of a Lifetime

Home / Food / Where & What I Ate / Local Chef Leaves for an Opportunity of a Lifetime
Chef Ruffo Ibarra, Oryx Capital, Tijuana, Baja

No doubt, you have gotten wind of the burgeoning culinary renaissance that has been happening in Tijuana and beyond throughout Baja. With continuous articles on tacos, fine dining, bars, and the like in Bon Appetit, New York Times, Travel & Leisure and more, why would a chef with a successful speakeasy bar and restaurant decide to leave?


Chef Ruffo Ibarra, Tijuana, TJMcDreamy, Baja, Chef, Chef Ruffo Ibarra has been cooking on both sides of the border for many years. Much of his time is spent fielding travel opportunities that allow him to share his regional cuisine throughout the U.S. and Mexico when he isn’t busy with his popular Tijuana restaurant, Oryx Capital and the sexy, speakeasy Nortico.

He’s in the middle of a popularity contest he doesn’t even know he’s a part of. The TJMcDreamy is an all around nice guy who loves to eat, cook, laugh and learn. So what could make this up and coming rising star leave for three months? I know… your first guess is TOP CHEF or some other cooking competition, right? You’d be wrong.

Chef Ruffo Ibarra is headed to Northern Italy to accept a stagiaire, or stage (pronounced “staahj”) at a three Michelin Star restaurant under one of the planet’s most prestigious chefs. Osteria Francescana has been named the No. 2 Best Restaurant in the World under the direction of famed Chef Massimo Bottura.

A stage is essentially an unpaid apprenticeship. As you can imagine a stage at a restaurant of this caliber is highly sought after. After speaking to Chef Ruffo he has stated that he is ecstatic about the opportunity. He is quickly putting things in order for his 3 month leave and says he will be living very simply while in Italy. His only focus is to work, watch and learn.

If you want to experience the cooking of Chef Ruffo before he leaves, you have until July 1st.

Ciao, Chef Ruffo. You will be missed.

Chef Ruffo Ibarra, Tijuana, TJMcDreamy, Baja, Chef,