Best Chefs of Mexico
There is no shortage of fabulous places to eat in Playa del Carmen and foodies can celebrate with the Best Chefs of Mexico.
The four-night October fiesta called “The Best of Mexico Riviera Maya” will be held Oct. 5 – 9 in Playa del Carmen. The prestigious event will feature 10-course tasting menus of original dishes honoring the richness of Mexican cuisine through the use of ingredients, seasonings, and techniques from the country’s different regions. The 5 world renowned chefs participating in the event are:
Chef Carlos Gaytan from Chicago!!!!
Chef Carlos Gaytan was named “Chef of the Year” in 2011 by the American Culinary Federation. He created a revolution in Mexican gastronomy with his Chicago restaurant Mexique, which has been celebrated with a Michelin star and awards from Michelin Bib Gourmand. Mexique opened in May of 2008, in Chicago. Now world renowned, Chef Gaytan is one of the Best Chefs of Mexico and with great creativity, love, and dedication he applies his knowledge of French cooking techniques and ingredients to his roots of traditional Mexican cuisine, creating a revolution of Mexican gastronomy.
Mexique has received much recognition since its opening, including one of Chicago magazine’s top new restaurants of 2009, best restaurant of 2010 and received its first star in the Michelin Guide in 2013.Most recently Carlos was awarded “Chef of the Year 2011,” by the American Culinary Federation.
Chef Francisco “Paco” Ruano, Guadalajara
Chef Francisco “Paco” Ruano began his culinary journey in Spanish Basque Country at the Escuela de Cocina Luis Irizar, then throughout Europe in some of the best restaurants in the world, such as Spain’s Mugaritz and El Celler de Can Roca, and Noma in Denmark. In 2013, he opened Alcalde restaurant, widely considered one of the best in Guadalajara’s exciting new dining scene. He’s considered one of the Best Chefs of Mexico.
Chef Mikel Alonso
Chef Mikel Alonso’s restaurant, Biko, is regularly named among the world’s 50 Best Restaurants. Biko is all about ‘techno emotional’ cooking – a term commonly associated with Spain and the progressive cuisine of chefs such as Ferran Adrià – the stuff most diners familiar with the style used to call molecular gastronomy.
Under executive chef Xavi Perez Stone (“Best Chef in Mexico” 2013 and winner of “Iron Chef 2014”) and alongside chef Bruno Oteiza, Alonso, one of the Best Chefs of Mexico, created the singular menu at Velas’ Cocina de Autor, in Playa del Carmen, the first all-inclusive restaurant to earn Five Diamonds from AAA. Food & Wine also named it among the world’s “100 Best New Food & Drink.
Chef Ricardo de la Vega, Mexico City
Chef Ricardo de la Vega’s passion for the culinary arts has taken him to leading Mexican hotels and restaurants in Puebla, Oaxaca, Yucatan, and Quintana Roo. As executive chef of Frida in Playa del Carmen, he focuses on modern explorations of Mexico’s culinary riches. He is widely considered to be one of the Best Chefs of Mexico
Chef Zahie Téllez, Mexico City
Chef Zahie Téllez’s culinary style blends her love for Mexican and Italian cuisine, enriched by her Lebanese and Mazatec roots. She’s greatly admired for her cooking skills as demonstrated for six seasons on television’s “El Gourmet,” as well as her popular restaurant, Jose Guadalupe Platos de Cuchara in Playa del Carmen and is considered one of the Best Chefs of Mexico .
The tastings take place at the Grand Velas Riviera Maya. Nightly rates start at $393 per person per night based on double occupancy, and include a luxury suite, à la carte gourmet meals at a variety of specialty restaurants, premium beverages, 24-hour in-suite service, and more.
Halloween and Day of the Dead
Halloween and Day of the Dead are a big deal in Playa Del Carmen! In Playa Del Carmen it is usually a four or 5 day holiday with Halloween events beginning with a parade on 5th Ave October 29, continuing with parties and costumed trick-or-treaters on October 30th and 31st, and continuing with Day of the Dead events on November 1st and 2nd.
Halloween is typically celebrated the same way in Playa del Carmen as in the US with costumes and parties. Consider bringing a costume for yourself and joining the fun! Most bars will have costume contests and parties till the wee hours in the morning. The most popular areas are from Juarez Avenue until 34th St. all along 5th Avenue.
One thing that is different from other countries is the happy vs. scary. When you are out on Halloween night in Playa Del Carmen you will notice how HAPPY everyone is! Families, adults, kids, dogs, everyone is smiling and having a good time. It is not really about scaring people compared to other places and perhaps this is a carry over of the Mexican view of celebrating life and not making death a scary thing. At any rate, Halloween is an amazing time in Playa Del Carmen! Tip: Bring small coins and candy for kids who dress in costumes and travel the street in groups. Children do not really go house to house trick-or-treating here but it is a local custom to bring kids in their costumes to 5th Avenue and walk around and get candy.
For those of you that want to see a lot of costumes and stroll around for free, 5th Avenue in Playa Del Carmen becomes one big parade of scary and funny creatures from October 29 – November 2. If you are in Playa Del Carmen during this time of year you should definitely plan to go out these nights.
Day of the Dead: Day of the Dead, on the other hand, is an important Mexican Holiday celebrating and honoring loved ones who have passed away. You will also see altars set up in numerous public areas honoring someone who has died and inviting them to return to earth for a visit. Altars are built for a specific person who has died and will contain items that have reflect the character and personality of the deceased, personal possessions, or items that had special meaning to that person. The altar invites the deceased back and shows that the family has not forgotten the loved one. Common items include a picture of the deceased, Day of the Dead symbols like skeletons, orange and yellow flowers, colorful perforated paper and more. Day of the Dead followers believe the spirits of the dead will return to earth to visit with their families. It’s a long hard journey from the afterlife back to earth, so traditional Dia de los Muertos altars include nourishment and refreshments for the returning souls, toilet articles to freshen up,
History of Day of the Dead, Dia de los Muertos originated centuries ago in Mexico, and is a festive, joyous holiday for celebrating, remembering and honoring those who have passed. Day of the Dead is Mexico’s most important holiday, which means they invest a lot of time and money into celebrating Dia de los Muertos, moreso than any other holiday.
The Day of the Dead falls on November 1 and 2 of each year, coinciding with the Catholic holidays All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.
Most people celebrate Day of the Dead out of love and commitment to their loved ones, but some people celebrate this holiday out of fear! Mexico is rampant with folk tales that tell what happens if someone neglects their ancestors on Dia de los Muertos. If a spirit returns to find that no one has built an altar for them, or that their loved ones only left them paltry offerings, they will feel sad and angry… especially when they see what bounteous offerings other spirits received!
Neglected spirits may seek vengeance on those who have forgotten them. Additionally, many folk tales describe how those who ignore their deceased loved ones fall immediately ill and even meet their death shortly after the holiday!
Book now for Halloween and Day of the Dead and join the festivities!! Stay at any of our 6 properties, all are within a 1-2 block walk to 5th Avenue where everything takes place. Contact us for rates and availability at El Taj Ocean, Porto Playa, Magia Beachside, El Taj Beach, Maya Villa, or Villas Sacbe.
Hurricane Earl reaches Mexico just south of Playa del Carmen. Late Wednesday afternoon, Earl was a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph), the National Hurricane Center said. It was centered about 150 miles (240 kilometers) east of Belize City and moving west at 14 mph (22 kph).
A hurricane warning was in place for Belize, parts of Mexico and islands off Honduras’ north coast.
Hurricane Earl has reached land with scattered showers and thunderstorms that will result in wet and windy conditions in Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula with winds of 65 mph. Rain is expected, sometimes heavy, until later tonight in Playa del Carmen then clearing. The next few days show some additional showers and periods of sun. National Weather Service reports the worst of the storm is further south in Mexico
A sprawling area of high pressure to the north of Earl will keep the storm moving on a general westerly path.
Hurricane Earl and Playa del Carmen: For guests staying at El Taj Ocean, Porto Playa, Magia Beachside, Maya Villa, El Taj Beach and Villas Sacbe: This Hurricane will hit further south of Playa del Carmen, but unfortunately you will have lots of rain and then it should be clear and sunny days. Please contact our front desk at the condo hotel if you need anything. We are here for you.
For those not staying on one of our properties: we sat out a Tropical Storm in June, 2015. I’d rather have sun, but we made the most of it and ate at Indigo Beach Club, Plank, and Imprveist. Went to the Martini Bar and drank wine on our balcony. It could have been worse and actually we’ve had worse vacations!
Tropical Storm Earl.
Tropical Storm Earl and Playa del Carmen. The tropical disturbance was found to have reached flight-level winds of 57 mph on Tuesday afternoon. The storm continues to make its way across the Caribbean Sea and is expected to land Belize City Wednesday evening.
Earl is expected to arrive with scattered showers and thunderstorms that will result in wet and windy conditions in Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula with winds of 65 mph.
As of Tuesday, Tropical Storm Earl and Playa del Carmen was tracked moving westward at 22 mph and is expected to slow over the next 24 to 48 hours as the storm approaches land.
A sprawling area of high pressure to the north of Earl will keep the storm moving on a general westerly path. Even though it will slow down a bit over the next day or two, Earl still has less than two days to gather strength before it makes landfall late Wednesday, most likely in Belize, but possibly on the far southeast Mexican coast of the Yucatan peninsula.
For guests staying at El Taj Ocean, Porto Playa, Magia Beachside, Maya Villa, El Taj Beach and Villas Sacbe: This Tropical Storm Earl will pass, but unfortunately you will have lots of rain and then it should be clear and sunny days/. Please contact our front desk at the condo hotel if you need anything. We are here for you.
For those not staying on one of our properties: We sat out a Tropical Storm in June, 2015. I’d rather have sun, but we made the most of it and ate at Indigo Beach Club, Plank, and Imprveist. Went to the Martini Bar and drank wine on our balcony. It could have been worse and actually we’ve had worse vacations!
BPM 2017, Playa del Carmen: The BPM Festival 2017 will be held January 6-15! BPM 2017 is an annual ten day and night electronic music festival,held in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. This global gathering of DJs, producers, revelers and industry professionals has become a must for any music lover with a discerning taste for quality electronic dance music. BPM parties are hosted both day and night at multiple venues in Playa Del Carmen, a picturesque beach town that runs along miles of soft white sand beaches and sparkling turquoise waters on the Mayan Riviera.
The BPM Festival is an annual ten day and night electronic music festival, founded by Craig Pettigrew and Philip Pulitano, held in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. This global gathering of DJs, producers, revelers and industry professionals has become a must for any music lover with a discerning taste for quality electronic dance music.
The 6th annual BPM Festival returns to Playa del Carmen from January 4 – 13, 2013, The BPM Festival continues its tradition of bringing the world’s best DJs to one of the most alluring party hotspots on the planet, Playa del Carmen.
EnjoyTequila Fest in Playa del Carmen, January 26-29
Tequila Fest includes: Tequila Taste Tasting Sessions, Pairings with food by the best local chefs, and Informational Courses on Tequila. Join us at Tequila Fest in Playa del Carmen, January 26-29.