One of the Valle’s fastest-rising chef stars is Roberto Alcocer of Malva. In Alcocer’s hands, even the humble garden salad becomes an evolving exploration of contrasting flavors, textures, and temperatures. With jewel-like presentations and unusual ingredient combinations, everything surprises. The signature dish is lamb -- slowly roasted in a wood-fired oven for 14 hours, then pressed into a perfect cube -- sitting atop a creamy cauliflower pureé bathed in a reduction sauce from the same meat. Deep, rich, round, and profound, it’s a triumph. Did we mention the view from the dining room under the palapa overlooking the Valle from its southeast corner?
In most of Mexico, like most of the world, some of the best food is to be found on the streets rather than in high-end restaurants. The Valle de Guadalupe is no different. Take, for example, Las Gueritas: no address, no website, no bricks, and no mortar. Lucia Villaseno Padilla, assisted by her husband and two light-skinned daughters for whom the place is named, just grill fresh codorniz (quail) and conejo (rabbit) to order over a wood fire in a setting that’s partly idyllic with a bit of roadside grit. Consider it flavor.