South-of-the-border fare is sizzling in San Diego thanks to a fresh restaurant concept spearheaded by one of Mexico’s most renowned chefs. Roberto Alcocer presents his passion for upscale Baja cuisine at Valle, the all-new eatery located inside Oceanside’s Mission Pacific Hotel. Overlooking the shores of Oceanside beach, Valle offers guests the opportunity to experience authentic Valle de Guadalupe cuisine. Here’s a sneak peek at Chef Alcocer and his vision behind this unique Oceanside concept. Valle Oceanside Chef Roberto Alcocer
Alcocer’s cooking experience began at home in Ensenada, Mexico, where his mother showed him the basics in order to avoid unpleasant takeout on her nights away. He continued cooking and found his happy place in the kitchen, recalling, “Since elementary school, I knew what I liked most; it’s food, cooking and making other people happy.” When it came time to choose a career path, Alcocer was certain of his future as a chef. His unwavering ambitions took him all the way to France, Spain and Belgium for internships and apprenticeship opportunities in high-profile kitchens, one of them being Michelin-Starred La Brioche in Madrid. After years of training and prepwork, he returned to Ensenada and opened his very own restaurant, Malva Cocina, which has since become a renowned dining destination. Valle Oceanside
When Oceanside’s Mission Pacific Hotel reached out to Alcocer to create the menu for their new featured restaurant, he had more than just a menu in mind. He decided he would live part-time in San Diego and lead as head chef, thereby presenting the possibility of becoming a Michelin Star chef himself (a ranking system not implemented in Mexico).
Though Mission Pacific didn’t originally have a fine-dining restaurant in mind, Alcocer saw the potential. “We were going to be on the best corner of Oceanside, with the best view, in a really nice hotel—why don’t we shoot for the stars?” After being reminded of the commitment to the high-profile dining experience and the pressure that comes along with it, Alcocer was unfazed. Valle Oceanside Chef Roberto Alcocer
“I told them, ‘Absolutely I want to.’ Since I was a kid, the first restaurant I worked in was a Michelin-Starred restaurant. I knew the stress; I understood the commitment.”
He describes Valle’s upcoming menu as a refined version of his restaurant in Baja with similar menu options in the form of a seasonally changing menu. Located right on the ocean, Valle will feature a seafood-focused, farm-to-table dining experience, sourcing every ingredient locally from San Diego and Ensenada. Not only was Alcocer hands-on with the menu creation, he and his team also started from scratch on the dining room, visiting signature restaurants and wineries to draw inspiration for the new decor. Alcocer says, “I could take you all the way through the restaurant and tell you where the inspiration came from—the copper bar, the archway, the paintings, the art on the walls—they’re all Valle de Guadalupe-inspired.” But despite the intricacies of the dining room, Alcocer is well-aware of his beachfront space. His goal is to provide the best dining experience possible while still maintaining the laid-back ambiance of Oceanside. Chef Roberto Alcocer
With more space and tools at his disposal at Valle, Alcocer views his time here as an opportunity to experiment and grow within his craft. And while he’s currently working to bring a true taste of Valle de Guadalupe to Oceanside, he eventually plans to do just the opposite: draw experience from his time in San Diego and bring it back to Ensenada. Regardless of where his next project lands, you will find his passion perfectly prepared and presented before it even meets your fork.
Valle Oceanside Chef Roberto Alcocer
Photography Provided By: Audrey Ma