We are just a couple of days short of our 2nd Food and Wine Festival at Capella Pedregal. I visited our Executive Chef Yvan Mucharraz amidst his final preparations for the event, and he was kind enough to give me a peek behind the curtains on his creations for the festival.
Yvan, how would you describe your culinary style?
Mexican style! (smiles). I’m very proud to be Mexican, I love my culture, ingredients, colors and flavors. This is my identity, which I try to incorporate in my cuisine daily. It all started with my grandmother and mother, they are extraordinary in the kitchen, and my first and biggest inspiration.
You developed some of your culinary experience at The French Laundry where you studied under Chef Thomas Keller and Chef de Cuisine Timothy Hollingsworth (who will be a guest chef at this year’s Food & Wine Festival). What lessons did you take away from your time at The French Laundry?
For me it was the best restaurant I have ever been at; I admire Chef Keller’s philosophy, his vision and care for every single detail. The commitment to yourself and respect for people and what you do, the sense of urgency… I learned a lot and I look forward to the opportunity to host Chef Timothy here at Capella Pedregal.
You have been at Capella Pedregal for just over and year and were recently promoted to Executive Chef. How would you describe your past year at Capella?
Exciting and fast! (smiles again) I learned a lot from Marco Bustamante who used to be our Executive Chef before me, and is now the Food & Beverage Director. I like to be challenged and this is a great opportunity.
What can we expect from this year’s Food & Wine Festival?
This year we have 4 excellent guest Chefs joining the Festival. Each will be introducing different techniques and ingredients meant to inspire and engage our guests. We also have new wine and spirits producers joining us- creating for some exciting pairings. This event is for our guests. We want them to have fun, learn something from each other, eat amazing food, and truly experience Cabo San Lucas.
Can you give our readers a little insight into some of the special ingredients you will be using at the festival?
We are preparing several surprises and I can’t wait to reveal them at the event! For our readers let me share just a few: one of them is a special ingredient I have worked on for a while: agave azul (agave azul is the plant used to make Tequila); we will introduce a variety of Mexican candies, made with the fruit of the Cactus. We have also been working on our own charcuterie program. I am making our own style of cured Jamon Iberico, which has been curing for 5 months already, and am saving it for cutting for the first time at the Food & Wine Festival!
You can follow happenings at our Food & Wine Festival on Facebook.com/CapellaPedregal and on Twitter @CapellaPedregal, you can also follow the hashtag #FWFCabo for tweets from the attendants of the festival