Arugula and strawberries from Hacienda Purisima at Rosewood’s 1826 Restaurant
There’s an incredible farm-to-table culinary movement taking hold in San Miguel de Allende. The town’s best chefs have been racing to embrace the region’s local agricultural bounty: incredible goat cheeses, farm-fresh eggs, artisanal honeys and surprisingly great wines. There’s even a bewildering variety of locally roasted coffees. But the real treasure is the region’s organic produce. And one of the key players in the movement is Hacienda Purisima de Jalpa, an organic farm located 15 miles from San Miguel de Allende in the rural village of Jalpa (where local residents share a single, communal phone booth in the center of “town”).
Brief backstory: A registered historical site, the hacienda is where Ignacio Perez stayed the night before riding out to warn Ignacio Allende and Miguel Hidalgo of the approaching Spanish army, which was being sent to crush the rising Independence fighters, whose leaders had been organizing in San Miguel. After the revolution, the hacienda was abandoned for a generation or so, but 1980’s, the hacienda was reclaimed, beginning what would be years of restoration and rebirth. An elegant new main house was built on the site of the old granary.
Scenes from the hacienda
The estate’s new architecture retains a sense of historical importance and countrified glamour, with thick, scalloped stone walls and high beamed ceilings. The hacienda serves as a rustic retreat, a gated 153-acre oasis that completely encircles the tranquil Jalpa Lake. There are currently only a handful of rooms adjoining the main house, fashioned in the style of a bed and breakfast—or, perhaps more appropriately, a dude ranch (there are beautiful horses to be ridden here, should the mood strike). Ambitious plans are in the works call for additional rooms, a swimming pool and a destination spa.
But until the retreat becomes a fully realized resort, the hacienda’s main focus continues to be its organic farm, which spreads out along the lake just below the main house.
The hacienda’s farm and bounty
The farm currently supplies the finest restaurants and gourmet stores in San Miguel de Allende (and to a lesser extent, San Luis Potosi, Guadalajara and Queretaro) with beautiful lettuce, kale, cauliflower, cucumbers, cabbage, arugula, spinach, heirloom tomatoes and carrots, sweet corn, squash, peaches, lemons… whatever the chefs desire, they can get. Chefs can call the farm weekly to see what’s almost ready to be harvested. Then deliveries are always made the same day the fruits or vegetables are picked, arriving in the restaurants’ kitchens an hour or so later.
1826 executive sous chef Rurik Salazar Pares
Where to eat the amazing organic produce of Hacienda Purisima de Jalpa:
1826 at Rosewood San Miguel
This is one of the finest restaurants in all of Mexico serving contemporary Mexican cuisine in a glamorous indoor/outdoor hacienda courtyard setting.
Chef Donnie Masterton is one of San Miguel’s original locavores, and his Restaurant is one of the town’s most glamorous eateries, with a constantly evolving menu of modern cuisine inspired by local ingredients and French technique.
Chef Mariano Alvarez serves an incredibly soulful blend of Argentinean and Italian cuisines in the heart of old San Miguel.
Chef Jorge Boneta recently joined Matilda (after serving as chef de cuisine at Rosewood Mayakoba), bringing to the restaurant an impressive flair for modern Mexican cuisine.
Dos Casas Restaurant & Wine Bar
This ultra-cozy wine bar and elegant bistro is one of the most charming spots in all of San Miguel.
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All photos by Brad A. Johnson