Grand Velas Riviera Maya Hosts Top Chefs for Best of Mexico Culinary Event

In Dine, Playa del Carmen & Tulum, Stay by Suzanne Koch

Grand Velas Riviera Maya is bringing the best flavors together during The Best of Mexico’s Culinary Traditions. From October 10 – 14, five of Mexico’s top chefs will team up with chefs Humberto May Tamay and Laura Avalos of Grand Velas’ Maya restaurant Chaka to showcase the tastes of the Riviera Maya. The event will focus on traditional Mexican flavors, cooking techniques and ingredients and will be highlighted by a seven-course dinner paired with beer and mezcal.

This year’s featured chefs include Reyna Mendoza, Ricardo Muñoz Zurita, David Cetin, Joel Ornelas and Pablo Salas.

Reyna Mendoza, one of Oaxaca’s most renowned traditional cooks, is owner of El Sabor Zapoteco’s cooking where she shares first-hand knowledge of Teotitlan del Valle’s rich culinary history. She has participated in many regional and international Mexican festivals, including the 4th World Forum of Gastronomy in Thailand.

Ricardo Muñoz Zurita is one of Mexico’s most well-regarded chefs with several restaurants in Mexico City as well as eleven books, including Diccionario Enciclopédico de la Gastronomía Mexicana, under his name. The encyclopedia aims to code every ingredient and technique in the vast gastronomic canon of Mexico. He attended Le Cordon Bleu before returning to Mexico to focus on Mexican cuisine.

David Cetin is a highly awarded and recognized chef. In addition to judging culinary competitions, he was honored Morelia en Boca – the International Gastronomy and Wine Festival of Mexico in 2014 for his Yucatan cuisine. Earlier this year Food & Wine called him “The Traditionalist” for his authentic cuisine. Cetin has a grand culinary heritage through his family, owners of La Prosperidad, one of the most highly-regarded restaurants in the Yucatan.

Joel Ornelas, originally from Puerto Vallarta, began his culinary career as an apprentice in renowned local restaurant Café des Artistes. Later, he studied gastronomy and worked in restaurants in Guadalajara. After completing his studies, he traveled to London to work for a season in the renowned Spanish cuisine restaurant group Cambio de Tercio (rated with a star by the Michelin Guide). Later he worked with Chef Martín Berasategui at his namesake restaurant (three stars by the Michelin Guide) in San Sebastian, Spain. Before returning to Puerto Vallarta and opening his own kitchen, he worked as the creative chef of the Pangea restaurant group, owned by the consecrated Mexican chef Guillermo González Beristáin in the city of Monterrey.

Pablo Salas began his culinary career at Ambrosía Culinary Institute in 1998, where he met the chef Federico López. His constant work and continuous commitment as a representative of Mexican gastronomy led him to be appointed delegate of the Conservatory of Mexican Gastronomic Culture (CCGM). In addition to his restaurant Amaranta in Toluca (ranked 15th on the 2017 list of Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants), Salas operates Pueblo in Chicago in cooperation with Richard Sandoval and Lona in Fort Lauderdale.

The Best of Mexico’s Culinary Traditions Riviera Maya is included for guests staying at Grand Velas Riviera Maya. Nightly rates start at $434 per person.

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