New fusion cuisine flourishes in Baja California

In this Sept. 27, 2012 photo, Chef Javier Plascencia cooks in the kitchen at Mission 19 restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico. Plascencia is part of a group of chefs working to create a unique cuisine largely based on fresh seafood caught in the seas flanking Baja and the produce from its fertile valley. The new culinary craze, known as Baja Med, is a fusion of Mexican food with influences from the Mediterranean and Asia. (AP Photo/Alex Cossio)Until recently, Baja California's culinary contribution to the world amounted to the Caesar salad, a dish hardly associated with Mexican food. Beyond that, this long, thin peninsula was known more for its Chinese food and pizza thanks to the thousands of migrants from all over the world who began to settle the Mexican state south of California in the 19th century.