Canadian Chef, Tadd Chapman moved to Los Cabos after a brief culinary stint in Vancouver. His dream to set up his first restaurant in Los Cabos hit a break wall when Mexican authorities stepped in.
“When I approached the Mexico authorities, they were reluctant to issue my visa even after my restaurant was set up and my crew was ready to go,” says Tadd Chapman, Owner and Executive Chef of Tadd Chapman Restaurants Group and one of Mexico’s top celebrity chefs.
At 20, armed with a fiery entrepreneurial spirit, a culinary education and some restaurant experience, Chapman boldly ventured into the resort city of Los Cabos on Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula to set up his first restaurant, the Tulip Tree. His young age has cast doubt on his ability to operate a restaurant, but that did not deter Chapman from pursuing his dreams.
Chapman’s sojourn to Los Cabos began in 1998 at his father’s invitation – a realtor who was then selling real estate in Los Cabos. His love for Los Cabos and Mexican culture inspired him to uproot from Canada to set up shop in Los Cabos a month later.
When asked why he chose the region, Chapman responds with a big smile, “Los Cabos is beautiful, warm, has incredible gastronomy, safe and is like a home away from home. Through culinary school, I remember talking to my friend about going to Brazil and building a restaurant that extends onto the wharf so guests can dine by the ocean.” The proximity of Los Cabos to Canada and the relaxing lifestyle was an ideal choice.
Fifteen years later, he has three restaurants (Don Sanchez, Habanero’s Gastro Grill, The Retro Burger Bar) under his belt and a string of awards. In 2010, he was voted the “Best Chef in Los Cabos” in the Cabo Social “Best of Cabo Awards”. Prominent Mexico Traveller Magazine featured him along with 2 other chefs as one of the top Celebrity chefs of Mexico in 2012.
Chapman is always working on new and innovative menus to stay ahead of the curve in his industry. His cooking style is “Mexican Fusion” where he combines elements of local cuisine with international flavours ranging from Mediterranean, Asian to California Pacific Rim.
“In all my menus, I use fresh, organic ingredients including USDA certified organic products if they are available locally. Almost everything is organically grown here, fresh seafood and vegetables are readily available in Los Cabos,” remarks Chapman.
Don Sanchez offers fine dining with a Mexican twist and Habanero’s, a gastro grill and tequila bar is a casual diner. Sports lovers would enjoy his Retro Burger Bar equipped with big-screen TVs and serving some of the city’s best burgers. Chapman and his restaurants have become a significant contributor to the Los Cabos dining and social scenes, the local community and charities.
Mexico is a country bursting with a cornucopia of flavours. Its time-honoured gastronomy is the first ethnic cuisine in the world to be documented by UNESCO on its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. There is a whole new world of gastronomy to discover beyond tacos, guacamole and salsas.
In Los Cabos, visitors can enjoy freshly caught fish and succulent seafood like jumbo prawns, octopus and giant clams from the Sea of Cortes and the Pacific Ocean. A great time to sample some of the best regional cuisine is during the Sabor a Cabo International Food & Wine Festival held between November and December each year.
Nestled along the Pacific coast in the exclusive community of Puerto Los Cabos, the brand-new luxurious all-suite Secrets Puerto Los Cabos Golf & Spa Resort provides the ultimate adult getaway. Their attractive unlimited-luxury package includes elegant accommodation and gourmet dining at their seven restaurants and café (no reservation required), unlimited premium drinks at their six bars and lounges and more.