I chose duck for the main course! (sorry I ate my
dessert to quickly to snap a pic of it)
Mexico isn’t just wafting
warm smoke and flattering mirrors at us when they brag about their culinary
prowess these days. Their bragging rights have been won fair and square with
many visitors realizing that Mexico’s regional cuisine is the #1 reason to
visit. The experts are on board consistently rating some of Mexico’s chefs and
restaurants at the top of the charts. One example - Mexico has 3
restaurants among the latest World’s 50 Best Restaurants. (Canada has none).
But after all, they are
building on 100’s of years of gastronomic development. The commitment to
creative concoctions sourced from Mexico’s abundant local produce, enhanced
with traditional practices has earned accolades on the international stage and
I was lucky enough to be
among a number of trade partners at a recent luncheon where Chef Betty Vázquez,
Culinary Ambassador for Riviera Nayarit created and oversaw the preparation of
a special luncheon at Yorkville’s Blu Restaurant.
In cooperation with that
establishment’s Mexican owner, Betty took over the kitchen and we were treated
to an appetizer of Curry, Mint Halibut Ceviche; Poblano Pepper Cream Soup with
roasted pumpkin seeds; either Duck Breast or Pan Seared Halibut with
Mexican Chiles & Fruits Mole, Parsnip Puree & Asparagus. Dessert was
the most delicious Mexican lemon Gelatina, Chocolate Chile Soil with Orange
Sauce. It was as incredible as it sounds.
As Chef Betty says, “the
Flavours of Riviera Nayarit will conquer your heart through your mouth.” She
knows what she’s talking about.
Betty herself is not only an
accomplished chef, she is the perfect ambassador for the best of what Mexico
has to offer. Her pride in her country’s traditions and heritage emulate
Mexico’s promotional tag line... Live It To Believe It.
And, after chatting with
Betty, you really want to. She explained that It is every Mexican adult’s
obligation to teach children to respect and appreciate what they have and to
continue to pass that appreciation along to younger children as they themselves
We were glad to celebrate
Mexico’s near miss by the vicious Hurricane Patricia with Riviera Nayarit’s
P.R. Manager Richard Zarkin. He told us that he decided to ride out the massive
storm in Mexican fashion. He tossed back a couple of tequilas and went to
bed... sleeping soundly through the night.
Richard also told us that the
Canadian market is holding its own against much larger markets. For example,
our 19% market share compares quite favourably with the U.S.’s 24%. Pretty
impressive statistic... and perhaps even a bit more surprising is that we are
no longer just known for being the cheap and cheerful market. The very high end
Punta Mita has become a magnet for affluent Canadians.
A few other important
factoids Richard let us in on:
keeping with the growing luxury trend, Rosewood & Fairmont will soon
announce new luxury developments in Riviera Nayarit.
st 5 minute of the new Bond flick Spectre was filmed in Mexico
is the #1 industry for women and young university educated professionals in