March 17, 2000


Award Winning French Cuisine Chef Comes To Riverside Festival From Ensenada, Mexico

El Rey Sol has been an established French cuisine restaurant in Ensenada, Mexico for fifty years. The restaurant and its staff boast numerous awards and trophies in 20 years of international competitions. The Stater Bros. Riverside Orange Blossom Festival is fortunate to have Chef Jean-Loup Bitterlin as part of the Celebrity Chef Theatre, an annual venue at the festival to be held this year on April 15-16 in historic downtown Riverside, California.

The roots of the El Rey Sol Restaurant began in the French Copper Mining town of Santa Rosalia, located 600 miles south of Ensenada on the Gulf of California where Virginia Geffroy was born. She spent 18 years in France during which time her education included classes in French Cuisine. In 1947 Virginia opened the doors to an eight-table establishment in Ensenada that she named "El Rey Sol". The small family-run restaurant prospered and grew into its current facility containing a 200-seat dining room, a remodeled Salon Versailles, and a Louis XIV Banquet Room.

In 1978, Jean-Loup placed the family tradition of culinary competition on a grand scale by co-founding Ense-nada's first International Seafood Fair. The dedicated staff of El Rey Sol have won over 200 awards and trophies in over 20 years in competitions in Mexico, the United States and Europe. In 1995, Jean-Loup was awarded the prestigious `Al Merito Empresarial de la Fontera' commending culinary excellence. A year later he was summoned to Spain to accept the "Gran Collar de Oro" in recognition of International Gastronomic quality.

Through the years El Rey Sol has welcomed a stream of International Celebrities like John Wayne, Anthony Quinn, James Garner, Jacques Cousteau, Mario Moreno "Cantinflas" Vikki Carr, Silvia Pinal, Maria Victoria, two Miss Universes and six Mexican Presidents. Recent notable diners have included "Hulk" Hogan, Emmanuel, Ignacio Lopez Tarso and the Duke of Kent.

As the oldest French restaurant in Mexico, El Rey Sol has brought great honor to the city of Ensenada and the state of Baja California, an achievement to be celebrated by its clientele from around the world.

During the festival on Saturday, April 15th, Jean-Loup will be preparing his award winning Orange Cognac Sauce with Fresh Scallops. There are several chefs scheduled for both Saturday and Sunday at the April 15-16 Stater Bros. Riverside Orange Blossom Festival. Find out about all of the chefs and when they are scheduled to demonstrate through the web site at www.orangeblossom festival.org, or by calling (800) 382-8202. The annual Orange Blossom Cookbook features all of the recipes prepared by our Celebrity Chefs as well as many orange-based recipes gathered and tasted by our annual Recipe Contest. The cookbook is available for only $5 in the Celebrity Chef venue during the entire festival weekend, or can be pre-ordered through the Merchandise link on the web site.

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