Four Seasons Resort and Residences Cabo San Lucas at Cabo Del Sol
- Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 2023
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Current
- Etéreo Riviera Maya an Auberge Resort, Mexico; Thompson Zihuatanejo, A Beach Resort, Mexico; Esperanza Resort, Los Cabos, Mexico; Amanyara Resort, Turks & Caicos; Capella Ixtapa Resort, Mexico
- Diploma, Ecole Hôtelière et de Tourisme Paul Augier, Nice, France; Bachelor of Arts, Culinary Arts/Gastronomy, Instituto Culinario de Mexico
- Morelia, Mexico
- Spanish, English
Many elements combine to create the dining experiences at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Cabo San Lucas at Cabo Del Sol. To Executive Chef Miguel Baltazar, the most significant are the sources behind the ingredients. “Part of my culinary ethos has always been to maintain really positive relationships with the farms I work with,” he says, noting his focus on seeing the products of Mexico on every menu at the Resort. “At heart, we’re connecting our suppliers to our guests. It’s not about what I do in the kitchen; it’s about telling the amazing story of the craftsmanship our producers put into their products.”
That craftsmanship travels quite a distance at the beachfront property along the Sea of Cortez, where Baltazar oversees all outlets, coordinating the talent of team members and sourcing local ingredients to match the menus. The international line-up includes the signature fine dining Mediterranean specialty restaurant Palmerio, where Baltazar’s creativity is in full flourish, as well as Cayao, created in partnership with celebrated chef-restaurateur Richard Sandoval, serving Japanese-Peruvian fusion of elevated Nikkei cuisine with a strong focus on seafood.
There are also three outlets spotlighting Baja Mexican specialties: the beach club Coraluz; the raw bar and ceviche spot Brisal inspired by seafood restaurants surrounding the Sea of Cortez; and the locally sourced gourmet-deli concept Mercado that doubles as the marketplace of the Resort. Baltazar is most excited about the last, which brims with local inspirations and Mexican pastry specialties. “We’re having a lot of fun partnering with small producers to broaden people’s perspectives of Mexican cuisine.”
Baltazar oversees a team of nearly 100 chefs and cooks at the Resort. He had no difficulty finding talent to fill the ranks, with so much to choose from he had to be selective. “One of the big pluses I found is that a lot of young Mexican chefs see Four Seasons as a great company and they want to get in on the ground floor,” he says, adding, “the recognition that Mexican cuisine has been receiving on the world stage has inspired a new generation.”
He does his best to inspire as well, believing strongly in leading by example, especially on what he sees as the essence of cooking. “One of my mantras is that recipes are alive because at some point every ingredient was a living thing. Our dishes are straightforward and honest, with a true focus on flavours. So, I’m less about teaching technique and more about providing an understanding of the products.”
A son of Morelia, the capital of Michoacán and a historic centre of Mexican food culture, Baltazar grew up in a traditional household in which it was anticipated he would follow a long line of relations into the legal profession. He had a very close relationship with his grandmother, and as the eldest grandchild spent a lot of time in the kitchen and at the market where she always sought the freshest ingredients. “It’s funny that farm-to-table has gotten so trendy: It has always been so natural for us.”
Baltazar can vividly remember cracking snack-size bits from a big wheel of aged Cotija cheese that his grandmother kept under a cheese cloth in the kitchen, and the caramelized scent of blistering tomatillos as they made charred salsa. But what really clicked for him were family lunches on Sundays. “I learned early that food is an act of love.”
When he broke the news to his family that he wanted to pursue a culinary career, his father was surprised. “And in a way, he had a point: No one really thought of culinary as a career option in Mexico back then.” At his parents’ insistence, Baltazar spent a semester studying economics “just to be sure,” before moving on to culinary arts school and apprenticing at an iconic hotel with a Michelin-starred restaurant on the French Riviera.
Over the rewarding two-decade career that followed, including leading culinary operations at luxury resorts and twice being ranked as a National Finalist for Mexico’s Chef of the Year, Baltazar always used his positions to promote sustainability to preserve the products he holds dear. He continues now as an ambassador of Pesca con Futuro, a sustainable fishing program that engages every link in the supply chain to ensure sustainability of Mexican fisheries. He has also collaborated with projects such as Earth Ocean Farms that works to save totaba and red snapper along the Baja California Peninsula.
Meantime, Baltazar feels right at home with Four Seasons Cabo San Lucas, which he believes exemplifies the brand’s evolution with properties that celebrate the culture around them. “I’ve always believed there is no better place in the world to cook than Mexico,” he says, adding with a laugh, “now I’m thinking the centre of the world is right here on the Sea of Cortez celebrating ‘la buena vida’ through food in our modern hacienda.”