Celebrating the Mexican Culture through Delicacies
La Cosecha ’23
We are thrilled to unveil the culinary genius behind the much-anticipated La Cosecha. Chef Octavio Diaz, the maestro of flavors, will be the featured chef for this year’s Grand Tasting! Pairing his delicacies with MAVA wine showcased during La Cosecha will likely result in a fantastic gastronomic adventure.
Born and raised in Santa Gertrudis, Mexico, southwest of the city of Oaxaca, Octavio Diaz grew up working the land and cooking in a close-knit community renowned for its vibrant cuisine, striking landscape and rich cultural history. With six siblings and an impressive amount of relatives, family and food have always gone hand-in-hand for Diaz and eventually inspired his move to the United States. When Octavio was 13, his parents sent him to live with his uncle in Rohnert Park, California to learn the ins and outs of farming. Benefitting from his uncle’s guidance, he graduated from Rancho Cotate High School and received a Doyle Scholarship to attend Santa Rosa Junior College where he majored in hotel and restaurant management.
Upon realizing his passions revolved around food and hospitality, Diaz began planning for a future in Sonoma County. Inspired by his strong tiesnto Oaxaca and family, Diaz’s goal was to bring the flavors of his native homeland to his new homeland. Working his way up the food ladder, at such places as the Sonoma Wine Country Hilton and Petaluma Sheraton, Diaz eventually found the success he was looking for by sharing his love of food, culture and community.
In 2010, he opened up the first Agave Mexican Restaurant & Tequila Bar in Healdsburg to serve authentic, fresh Oaxacan style food. Visited by tourists and locals alike, Agave quickly became an integral part of Sonoma County’s culture and influenced a second location in partnership with the Kapor Center in Oakland, opening May 2016. With a focus on farm-raised ingredients and handmade cooking, Diaz draws from the artisanal culture of Oaxaca – an aesthetic entrenched in his culture long before it became trendy north of the border.
Diaz strives to create a cultural experience for his diners energized by a family atmosphere. Each day, his mother helps in the restaurant kitchen making mole negro by hand with Oaxacan ingredients he brings from their homeland several times a year: chocolate, spices and chiles. When Diaz isn’t preparing and sharing meals, he enjoys spending time outdoors hiking and biking with his wife, Nancy and their two kids.