International chefs invited to the seventh annual Baja Culinary Fest, scheduled October 19-22, have opted to stay out of Baja California over fear for their lives, according to El Sol de Tijuana.
Chef Javier Plascencia told the newspaper that the refusal of international chefs to attend represents a serious problem for the event, which traditionally attracts prestigious chefs from around the world for a tour of restaurants from taco stands in downtown Tijuana to upscale restaurants in Valle Guadalupe.
Plascencia said the security problems have caused him great sadness and anger because of all the festival has done for the gastronomic industry in Baja California.
World-renowned chefs that Baja Culinary Fest wanted to bring to Tijuana have declined invitations throughout the year, said Placencia. “We know that it’s because of the lack of safety.”
Festival officials have met frequently with municipal and state authorities over how to resolve the problem, said Placencia, but there are not enough police trained to handle such events or sufficient patrols to provide the necessary security.