FLORA FARMS San Jose del Cabo, Mexico | Gratefully Beautiful
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
The one simple act that can cultivate more happiness, peace, success, health and love in life is gratitude! Gratitude is aptly developed when receiving something genuinely needed and that takes real effort to acquire on the part of the giver. Food certainly meets those standards, however, when food and drink are abundant, it is easy to take them for granted. When we stop paying attention to the source of our food, its vibrant colors, alluring aromas and tantalizing tastes we get less of an experience from what is on our plate, slipping us into an abhorrent state of mindless eating.
Farm-to-table dining experiences are a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with food while simultaneously encouraging us to slow down and gratefully savor every bite. Flora Farms in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, is a magical place that pays homage to the land and local culture, culminating in unforgettable cuisine set in an atmosphere of astonishing beauty. Located in the hills above Baja California’s southern tip a bumpy dirt road leads you to this magnificent 25-acre farm, a flourishing oasis in the Los Cabos desert. There you will find Flora’s Field Kitchen, where harvesting and cooking go hand in hand.
Begin your time at Flora Farms with a guided tour through the fields and gardens where the connection between farming and food are undeniable, what is seen growing in the field is what will soon appear on your plate. Many of the 90-plus heirloom vegetables are pulled from the ground the day they are served; you can’t get any fresher than that! Between patches of kale, cabbage and eggplant there are rows of zinnia and sunflowers, the sunflowers act as a natural insect repellent and the zinnias deter cucumber beetles and tomato worms. In addition, all meats are sourced from their nearby 150-acre ranch where animals humanely roam free raised on the healthiest diets, without hormones or antibiotics.
The baker arrives at 8 pm to fire up the wood oven for his rustic bread to have it fresh for very early in the morning. At first light, the farmhands begin arriving to gather and prep, a process that continues until the last guest is satisfied. Flora’s menu changes seasonally in harmony with nature and the season’s bounty, the grounds are enchanting, and the open-air restaurant is set amidst the fields and gardens. Michoacán-born chef, Guillermo Tellez works closely with the gardeners and ranchers when designing each menu.
The uniqueness of Flora’s cuisine is that they only serve what is produced at the farm and on the ranch, everything is made in house! Specialties include Neapolitan-style pizza’s with fresh mozzarella and dough that has been built over time and gingerly handled; another is the perfectly seasoned, smoky and tender mesquite-roasted chicken; if you love a full flavor, the pork chop is extraordinary. Guillermo’s passion for charcuterie has led him to cure meats from the farm’s vegetable-fed pigs, an old-world method composed with a thoughtful arrangement of textures and tastes. The pastry chef, Leslie Tellez (Guillermo’s wife), is celebrated for her corn cake with tequila ice cream. Grab a pint of freshly churned ice cream to go, try a unique flavor, you will not be disappointed!
When visiting give yourself plenty of time. Flora Farms is not just a restaurant, this regional gem also maintains a market, stocked with farm fresh items; a bar, with a full-range of fruit and vegetable-infused specialty cocktails, including the “Farmita” – a margarita made with heirloom carrot juice; a cooking school, with hands-on classes; a wellness spa, where treatments make use of the farms flowers and herbs; and artisanal shops that carry everything for local artwork to Baja California wines. Kids will enjoy the open grass areas and animals at the farm which include dogs, ducks, horses, burros and turtles all of which have been locally rescued or shown up at the front gate, who can blame them!
The farm has many outdoor event areas that are available for private gatherings. There is also an herb garden, amphitheater, lakeside lawn, hilltop alter and more! The Mango Grove Barn hosts local music and charity events and is often used as a wedding venue.
Sincere gratitude and respect for food transcends to many areas of life, when we learn to appreciate something as simple as the source of our food, it’s color, aroma, taste and other nuances we are more inclined to appreciate alternative simple pleasures in life; a child’s laughter, a beautiful sunset; fresh flowers, a ripe peach.