Capella Pedregal en su 5to Aniversario

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“El tiempo vuela cuando te diviertes!” Ciertamente lo hace! No puedo creer que hayan pasado cinco años desde la apertura de Capella Pedregal en julio de 2009. Tantas cosas maravillosas han sucedido. En sólo cinco años, el equipo ha logrado algunos de los mayores honores de la industria. Best Awards de Travel & Leisure Readers ‘Choice del mundo nombrados Auriga spa # 1 Spa en el Mundo en 2012 y en 2014 votaron Capella Pedregal Hotel # 1 en México y # 15 en el mundo! No olvidemos el codiciado premio AAA Cinco-Diamantes en los últimos tres años.

Pero para el equipo de Capella, lo más importante es la relación con los huéspedes. Nuestros huéspedes se han convertido en amigos y ahora piensa en Capella Pedregal como su segundo hogar . El equipo de pre-apertura fue un grupo de sólo 54 personas y ahora la familia Capella ha crecido hasta 450 personas! 450 personas que trabajan con el único objetivo de crear experiencias memorabkes para sus huéspedes.

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Cuando compartí con ustedes en blogs anteriores, del 9 a 13 julio, Capella Pedregal fue sede de la 3ra Edición de Sabor a Capella, Festival de Vinos y Comida. Estas fiestas culinarias reúnen un grupo de algunos de los mejores cocineros y mixólogos reconocidos, junto con grandes Tequileros y Bodegueros , que volaron desde diferentes partes del mundo para compartir su talento y conocimiento. Durante el festival, los chefs compartieron tiempo con los huéspedes, tanto en los eventos de las cenas como en demostraciones de cocina e incluso un crucero privado al atardecer que los llevaró a ver el hermoso Arco de Cabo San Lucas. Cada día era una celebración y una maravillosa exhibición de los mejores vinos, comida y cócteles, pero la última noche, la cena de gala, fue algo que nunca olvidaré. No fue sólo la noche de clausura del festival, sino que fue la celebración del quinto aniversario de Capella Pedregal.
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La celebración tuvo lugar en el restaurante Don Manuel’s y comenzó con una recepción donde brindamos con el champagne más fino de Taittinger, Blanc de Blanc 2012, Comptes de chanpagne, una reserva especial especialmente abierto en honor al gran aniversario! Más tarde, los chefs invitados y Chef Yvan Mucharraz prepararon una cena de cinco tiempos espectacularmente perfectamente marinado con deliciosos vinos. Al final de la velada el Gerente General de Capella Pedregal, John Volponi, agradeció al equipo y a los huéspedes por ser parte de este logro. La gran sorpresa fue que justo después de su discurso, una hermosa exhibición de fuegos artificiales iluminó el cielo y en cuanto la música de mariachi comenzó, los huéspedes recibieron luces de bengala. . Entonces la verdadera fiesta comenzó y todo el mundo bailó. Fue una noche maravillosa e inolvidable!

 

Feliz cumpleaños Capella Pedregal!

Nothing sweeter than Lucian Carnival!

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I always get very excited to experience the wonderful festivities that Saint Lucia has to offer in the month of July.  This time of year, there are a lot more flights landing as many visitors come to the island for one of the biggest events of the year.  Today, whilst walking near the Castries Market, this lovely lady named Nora, came up to me and asked for directions to the nearest mall.  In conversation with her, I learnt more about why she decided to  visit this lovely island.  Nora spoke of the beautiful people and the lush green forests that painted the hillsides but then she paused and I noticed this fire and excitement in her eyes as she exclaimed, “I’m here because of the Lucian Carnival!”


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The Saint Lucian Carnival or Lucian Cah-na-val as some would call it, is a festive time of year that brings together people from all around the island to showcase a colorful history with costumes and dance.  Saint Lucia won its independence in 1979 and since then, discovering new aspects of his history can be seen in the various carnival efforts of its people.  It is amazing to witness such a spectacular showcase and even more interesting to learn that every year around the month of July, people come to Saint Lucia just to see the parade.  My friends and I make it our duty to attend every single event surrounding this festival.  From the Annual Carnival Queen Show to the Parade of the Bands, we take pride in engaging in activities that are part of the island’s wide culture.   This year, I am very anxious to put on my Carnival Costumes as I join the parade with over twenty thousand participants.

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Carnival in Saint Lucia is the one event that you would not want to miss.  If there was ever a time that you wished to see the island in full color then I strongly recommend you visiting around the month of July.  With the Carnival Queen show happening very soon, I can’t wait to see more of  Saint Lucia’s lovely culture and it’s people.  

Los Secretos De Cócteles De Osvaldo Vazquez De Capella Pedregal

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Hace poco estuve con el Mixólogo de Capella Pedregal, Osvaldo Vázquez, para poder descubrir los secretos de coctel detrás de sus bebidas deliciosamente elaboradas y para conseguir una primicia sobre, Sabor a Capella, Festival de Comida y Vino en Capella Pedregal que se llevará a cabo el mes que entra.
Osvaldo ha ganado reconocimiento nacional e internacional como un mixólogo premier y es conocido como un pionero en Cabo San Lucas por sus “vanguardistas” cócteles con ingredientes caseros y de temporada. Sus cócteles envejecidos en barricas y su ” amargos hechos en casa” no se puede perder.
CP – ¡Hola Osvaldo! ¡Me estoy convirtiendo en tu fan # 1! ¡¡No hay un solo cóctel que hayas hecho que no me ha gustado!! Por favor, dinos el secreto detrás de tus cócteles.
O – ¡Gracias! Para todos nuestros cócteles, utilizamos ingredientes locales y orgánicos, y bebidas de primera clase, pero lo que hace la diferencia es que los cócteles son elaborados verdaderamente a mano. El equipo y yo pasamos muchas horas creando amargos,infusionando el tequila, el mezcal y el bourbon con ingredientes únicos que posteriormente serán envejecido en nuestras barricas.

 

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CP – WOW! Cuéntame más sobre que el los amargo de Capella!
O-Bueno, primero hay que entender lo que es un amargo.. Un de un amargo es como el vinagre que el chef utiliza para agregar un poco de sabor a su comida. El sabor de un amargo hecho en casa es único y le da un toque especial a nuestros cócteles. Durante el último año y medio, hemos creado más de 15 sabores de amargos diferentes , como chocolate, lavanda, limón y naranja.
Para hacer los amargos, trabajamos con una destilería en Todos Santos que nos proporciona licores de maíz . Seleccionamos los “ingredientes” para infucionar con los licores, como la madera de cerezo, naranja, corteza de árbol, etc. Luego empezamos con nuestros procesos de filtrado y los resultados son fenomenales.
CP – Dinos, ¿qué podemos esperar en cuanto a cócteles en el próximo Sabor a Capella, Festival de Comida y Vino?
O – Este año, vamos a centrarnos mucho más en cócteles y gracias a la participación de Ulliyses Vidal de Employees Only en la ciudad de Nueva York, vamos a tener una nueva clase llamada Cócteles Artesanales. En su demostración se creara licores artesanales influenciados por los años 1920 y 1930. Durante el festival, los huéspedes podrán disfrutar de cervezas hechos a mano, tequila de nuestras barricas y, por supuesto, algunos cócteles especiales creados especialmente para el festival.

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CP – Osvalso, muchas gracias por tomarte el tiempo para compartir los secretos de tus creaciones con nosotros! Estoy seguro de que nuestros lectores están tan ansiosos como yo de ver lo que está por suceder!

Screen On The Green At The National Mall

Screen On The Green

Summer has finally arrived and there’s no better place to be than the Nation’s Capital!  Every year I count down the days until summer along with all of the activities it brings.  One of the most popular summer happenings among the locals and visitors alike is Screen on the Green, a chance to watch classic films hosted by HBO and Comcast on a gigantic movie screen on the National Mall overlooking the United State Capitol Building.

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This complimentary outdoor event goes a little something like this: Gather a few of your friends on Monday night and head to the Mall around 5 or 6 pm to get a good seat.  Bring a blanket (no chairs) and a picnic basket for dinner and some dessert. Next, watch the sunset over the Capitol Building as you anxiously wait for the movie to begin.  My favorite moments are gazing up at the stars while the movie is rolling and seeing all the happy faces surrounding me.  This event makes for a fantastic summer evening and perfect way to enjoy this beautiful landmark, attracting over 15,000 people to each showing since 1999.

The schedule is out for this summer; take a look at the lineup:

July 21 – The Karate Kid (1984)

July 28 – Lover Come Back (1961)

August 4 – Key Largo (1948)

August 11 – A Soldier’s Story (1984)

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The best way to get to the National Mall is by Metro.  The closest stations are Archives/Navy Memorial, Smithsonian and L’Enfant Plaza.  Public parking is very limited in this part of the city.  On-street parking in Washington, DC is restricted during the evening rush hour.

Of course, if you are a guest at Capella Washington, D.C. you Personal Assistant can arrange both the picnic supplies and the ride.  For more information contact your Personal Assistant at 202-617-2400 or e-mail pa.dc@capellahotels.com.

I will be sure to share my visits to Screen On The Green on Twitter, but you can also follow the hashtag #SOTG2014 for updates.

 

Dragon Boat Festival

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Chinese history and culture fascinates me. Behind every holiday, every celebration is more than a thousand years of history and mythology.

On 2 June 2014, we celebrated Dragon Boat Festival. Locals in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong enjoyed a few days off to cheer for their Dragon Boat teams and feast with their families. While it is not officially a holiday in Singapore, it is still widely celebrated here in Singapore by local Chinese.

Dragon Boat Racers

Dragon Boat Racers

Contrary to what you may imagine, the story behind the Dragon Boat Festival is one of great tragedy. According to legend, in the third century B.C, Qu Yuan, a scholar and councillor to the King warned his king, Lord Huai, of an ominous threat from the northern Qing kingdom. Instead of listening to his advisor, the king banished him to the countryside. The king then took counsel from corrupt and scrupulous statesmen that cared not for the king and country but for money. Qu Yuan took to writing beautiful soulful poetry about the plight of the nation which inspired many countryfolk. In 278 B.C, the Qing armies conquered his kingdom and destroyed the imperial palace. Distraught, Qu Yuan threw himself into the Mi-Luo River, killing himself.

When the villagers saw Qu Yuan jump into the river, they attempted to save him, to no avail. They then tried to appease his spirit by throwing rice stuffed in bamboo stems into the river to prevent the fish from eating his body. The villagers all went out in dragon boats trying to look for his body but they could not find it. Thus, began the practice of eating rice dumplings and racing dragon boats. Isn’t it interesting how a tragic event in the past can lead to a colourful vibrant festival today?

One of the reasons I personally love Dragon Boat Festival is because I have an excuse to eat deliciously sweet rice dumplings. In my opinion, one of the best dumplings in Singapore is made and sold by Kim Choo’s Kitchen. Kim Choo’s kitchen, nestled in the heart of Singapore’s East Coast, Joo Chiat, is a true delight for the senses. Here, you can buy a colourful assortment of local confectionary, cakes and dumplings. As the dumplings and cakes are so popular, I suggest you come early during the day to be able to even get your hands on them.

Rice dumplings with tea

Rice dumplings with tea

Kim Choo’s Kitchen is an easy 25-minute drive from Capella Singapore. You may wish to spend a whole day wandering the historical streets of Joo Chiat, stopping for lunch at Kim Choo’s Kitchen. Our Personal Assistants will be able to assist you with planning your visit to Joo Chiat and share more about the Dragon Boat Festival. You can reach them at pa.singapore@capellahotels.com / +65 6591 5035.

A Look Back: The Capella Ixtapa Sabor + Vino Festival 2014

Bittersweet chocolate, bed of peanuts and cocoa, Cotija cheese meringue, xoconostle (a fruit of prickly pear cactus) foam, coconut cotton and a reduction of jamaica and passion fruit.

They say the way to a person’s heart is through the stomach.  And if you haven’t fallen in love with Mexico yet, our Capella Ixtapa Sabor + Vino Festival, would have you in head over heels, guaranteed!

Sabor + Vino 2014, which we held this past May, was Capella Ixtapa’s first culinary festival, and with the amazing feedback we received from our guests and visitors, I can promise you it won’t be the last!

Sommelier Lucian Mocanu and Chef Miguel Baltazar from Capella Ixtapa, with Guest Chef Carmen Valencia and Chef Ramiro Ortega.

Sommelier Lucian Mocanu and Chef Miguel Baltazar from Capella Ixtapa, with Guest Chef Carmen Valencia and Chef Ramiro Ortega.

“This region of Mexico has so much to offer gastronomically, offering an authentic Mexican cuisine experience.  We gathered well known chefs from different towns within the region to participate in festival Capella Ixtapa Sabor + Vino 2014, which established a sense of pride and honor, as we presented diverse traditional Mexican dishes, combined with exquisite Mexican wine and spirits for all attendees, complemented with a wonderful culinary event.  The feedback we received was fantastic, and I hope to see you all again at Capella Ixtapa’s Sabor + Vino 2015!” said Eliezer Quinones, General Manager of Capella Ixtapa.

The Capella Ixtapa Sabor + Vino Festival ran over two weekends in May, and featured Guest Chefs,  Carmen Valencia, Ramiro Ortega, Karla Chápero, Jesús Ordoñez.  Hosted by Capella Ixtapa’s Chef Miguel Baltazar, guests were delighted by appetizers based on regional cuisines, cocktail events, cooking classes, two exquisite 7 course wine pairing dinners and a special breakfast where each of the chefs prepared their own signature breakfast dish.

Bittersweet chocolate, bed of peanuts and cocoa, Cotija cheese meringue, xoconostle (a fruit of prickly pear cactus) foam, coconut cotton and a reduction of jamaica and passion fruit.

Bittersweet chocolate, bed of peanuts and cocoa, Cotija cheese meringue, xoconostle (a fruit of prickly pear cactus) foam, coconut cotton and a reduction of jamaica and passion fruit.

Sabor + Vino 2014 was an incredible experience,” said Chef Miguel Baltazar.  “Four different culinary minds came to Capella Ixtapa with the same objective; to satisfy the palate of our guests, surprise them with the magnificent flavors and show them the best of their cuisine.  It was a great pleasure having them with us and creating the first edition of Capella Ixtapa’s culinary festival together.  For me personally it was also a magnificent opportunity to create, innovate and practice with these amazing Chefs for the Chef of the Year in Mexico contest, at which I will be participating in June, and representing the colors of Capella Ixtapa and our region.  Some of the unforgettable dishes from the festival for me were jack fish with black radish, scallops tiradito, jicama fruit infused with beet and mezcal, cocoa with meringue of salt from Zihuatanejo, and crystallized nopal.”

You can see more photos from the festival here, and mark your calendars for May 2015, for the next Capella Ixtapa Sabor + Vino festival.  Our team is already hard at work planning next year’s festivities!