Meet Capella Ixtapa’s Culinary Team

Capella Ixtapa's Culinary Team

It is my pleasure to present to you two new members of Capella Ixtapa’s culinary team: Executive Chef Rurik Salazar, and Sous Chef Miguel Baltazar.  Both are amazing chefs and I am excited to announce they are also both finalists for Mexico’s Chef of the Year contest!  I had to sit down and get to know a bit more about their culinary passions and of course, share them with you.

Capella Ixtapa's Culinary Team

Chefs, you clearly both have a love of food.  How would you describe your cuisine, your culinary style?

RS: I enjoy experimenting with unknown products in a search for the highest quality and the most adequate technique to bring out the best of every ingredient.  I am in a constant search of the perfect dish.  My culinary style is Mexican, whether traditional or contemporary, it is what moves me.  I also appreciate foreign gastronomies such as Thai.  Regardless of their origins, I love Fine Dining Cuisine.

MB: I have great respect for traditional Mexican ingredients and techniques.  I truly enjoy cooking with what I know best and taking it to the contemporary scene.  My cuisine is bold, colorful and very Mexican.

I am so excited that you both are the finalists for the Chef of the Year contest, which will be held in June 2014!  Will you be practicing together for the finals?

RS: I won the first national semifinal in the Bajío region last June.  I am thrilled to be representing Capella Ixtapa  along with Miguel.  This is the most important culinary contest in Mexico, so it is amazing that we have both made it so far!  Together we will put Capella Ixtapa on Mexico’s culinary map!

MB: I won the second national semifinal that included the states of Michoacán, Morelos and Guerrero.  I loved the experience of being tested in every possible way.  From my perspective what gives you edge is controlling your nerves.  I am so happy to represent Capella Ixtapa and it is an honor to be head-to-head with my Executive Chef!  I am sure we will practice together because at the end our goal is to finish first and second.

What innovations are you bringing to Capella Ixtapa’s dining experience?

RS: Our main goal is to create unique culinary experiences for our guests.  This will come from having the best local ingredients in an attempt to showcase regional gastronomy.  We will have seasonal menu changes through the year while keeping our signature dishes.  My biggest professional challenge is to take Capella Ixtapa’s cuisine to a national and international spotlight.

MB: Chef Rurik and I have a very similar conception of food and I think great things are about to take place.  I am bringing a fresh twist on traditional Mexican Cuisine.  We are both bringing our own personal experience and vision to the food.  We want guests to visit Capella Ixtapa because of our cuisine.

Fall has come to Ixtapa, and with it the new seasonal menu at Capella Ixtapa.  What can the guests expect at our restaurants?

RS & MB: Be prepared to taste real Mexican flavors, from smoked cow’s tongue to black berry tamales.  We are cooking a very interesting menu for A Mares, where we are combining gastronomy of the Guerrero’s coast with ingredients and techniques from central Mexico.  Also not to be missed is our special set menu for the Tequila tasting, it is as Mexican as it gets!

For my final question, what is your favorite Mexican dish?

RS: There is nothing that takes me back to my hometown as much as a Mole de Caderas.  Every year I wished for Día de Muertos to come because I knew I was getting a nice hot bowl of this flavorful soup made with goat’s hip and spine.  It’s unique flavor comes from goats who have dieted on salt throughout their lives.

MB: I am a simple man and I love eating, but there is nothing that I enjoy as much as a big plate of Morisqueta made by my grandma.  Steamed rice, slowly cooked beans, spicy tomato salsa, aged Cotija cheese and sour cream; every spoonful is a childhood memory.

 

To make a reservation at any of our restaurants, please send us an email to: pa.ixtapa@capellahotels.com, or call us at 01.755.555.11.00

 

Conoce Al Equipo Culinario De Capella Ixtapa

Capella Ixtapa's Culinary Team

Es un placer para mi presentarles a los nuevos miembros de el equipo culinario de Capella Ixtapa: El Chef Ejecutivo Rurik Salazar, y el Sous Chef Miguel Baltazar. Ambos son excelentes chefs y me emociona también anunciar que ambos están dentro de los finalistas nominados para ¡Chef del Año en México! Para compartirlo con ustedes, me senté con ellos a conocerlos un poco más y a sus pasiones culinarias:

Capella Ixtapa's Culinary TeamChefs, es obvio que a los dos les encanta la comida. Cómo describirían su cocina, su estilo culinario?

RS: A mi me encanta experimentar con productos poco conocidos en una búsqueda de la más alta calidad y las técnicas más adecuadas para sacar lo mejor de cada ingrediente. Estoy en constante búsqueda del platillo perfecto. Mi estilo culinario es mexicano, ya sea tradicional o contemporáneo, es lo que me apasiona. También disfruto de otras gastronomías como sería la comida Tailandesa. Sin importar su origen, me encanta la Alta Cocina.

MB: Tengo mucho respeto por los ingredientes y técnicas mexicanas tradicionales. Me encanta cocinar con lo que conozco mejor y darle una interpretación contemporánea. Mi cocina es llamativa, rica en sabor, colorida y muy mexicana.

Me emociona mucho que los dos estén como finalistas nominados para Chef del Año en México, el cual se decidirá en Junio del 2014, estarán practicando juntos para las pruebas finales?

RS: Gané la primera semifinal nacional de la región del Bajío el pasado Junio, y estoy emocionado de representar a Capella Ixtapa junto con Miguel. Este es el galardón culinario más importante en México, así que considero maravilloso que los dos estemos dentro de los finalistas! Juntos, estoy seguro, pondremos a Capella Ixtapa ¡dentro del mapa gastronómico de México!

MB: Yo gané la segunda semifinal que incluía los estados de Michoacán, Morelos y Guerrero. La verdad es que me encantó la experiencia de ser evaluado en toda forma posible. Desde mi perspectiva lo que puede darte una ventaja es controlar tus nervios. Estoy muy contento de representar a Capella Ixtapa y además un honor estar nominado junto con mi Chef Ejecutivo! Estoy seguro que practicaremos bastante juntos, ya que nuestra meta es hacer “el uno-dos”.

Que innovaciones están trayendo a las experiencias culinarias de Capella Ixtapa?

RS: Nuestra meta principal es generar experiencias culinarias únicas para nuestros huéspedes. Esto viene de utilizar los mejores ingredientes locales en un esfuerzo para mostrar la gastronomía regional. Tendremos cambios en el menú cada temporada, y mantendremos nuestros platillos característicos. Uno de mis retos profesionales más grandes es llevar la cocina de Capella Ixtapa a los reflectores de la escena gastronómica nacional e internacional.

MB: El Chef Rurik y yo tenemos una idea muy similar respecto a la comida y creo que grandes momentos nos esperan. Yo aporto una mirada fresca de la comida tradicional mexicana con un pequeño “twist”. Ambos aportamos nuestras experiencias profesionales y visiones personales a la comida. Queremos que nuestros huéspedes visiten Capella Ixtapa por la cocina.

Ya es otoño en Ixtapa, y con ello los primeros cambios de temporada en el menú de Capella Ixtapa. Que pueden esperar nuestros huéspedes en nuestros restaurantes?

RS y MB: Estén preparados para probar verdaderos sabores mexicanos, desde lengua ahumada a tamales de zarzamoras. Estamos cocinando un menú muy interesante para Amares, donde combinamos la gastronomía de la costa de Guerrero con ingredientes y técnicas del centro.

También no se pueden perder es nuestro menú especial para maridar la cata de Tequila, ¡no se puede ser más mexicano que eso!

Mi pregunta final es: ¿cuál es su platillo mexicano favorito?

RS: No hay nada que me lleve de vuelta a casa como el Mole de Caderas. Cada año espero el Día de Muertos ya que sabía que recibiría entonces un gran plato de este colorido caldo hecho con cadera y espina de cabra. Es un sabor único que viene de cabras que han sido criadas a base de sal durante su vida.

MB: Soy una persona de gustos simples y me encanta comer, pero no hay nada que disfrute más que un gran plato de Morisqueta de mi abuela. Arroz al vapor, frijoles cocinados lentamente, salsa de tomate picante, queso cotija y crema; cada cucharada es un viaje a mi infancia.

 

Para realizar una reservación para cualquiera de nuestros restaurantes, por favor, envíanos un correo electrónico a: pa.ixtapa@capellahotels.com, o llámanos al 01.755.555.11.00

Discover German Spirits @ Capella Bar: Smoked Wood Cocktail

Smoked Wood Cocktail

In Germany the weather is cooling.  Autumn has just arrived.  I love this season and can’t wait to get out my wooly hats and to start wearing scarves.  I also know it is fall when I start to crave soul warming beverages.  Philipp, one of Breidenbacher Hof’s amazing bartenders, recommended a new cocktail that he promised would do the trick.  This cocktail is part of our new promotion “Discover German Spirits @ Capella Bar,” in which cocktails represented of Germany have been created.  The cocktail I tried is called “Smoked Wood” and is inspired by the Black Forest.  It really does remind me of the Black Forest and left me with a warm and cozy feeling.  I decided it was the perfect introduction to the season and had to share the recipe with you.

Smoked Wood Cocktail

Smoked Wood

Ingredients:
3cl Monkey 47 Gin
1cl Arderg 10
2BL Plum liqueur
2cl Roses Lime Juice
4 Drops of chocolate Bitters

Preparation:
The preparation is simple.  Just add the ingredients to a pint glass and stir.  Taste for flavor balance and once satisfied, transfer to the serving glass of your choice. Easy!

The Monkey 47 Gin has a very unique flavor profile and even tastes a bit like fir needles.  At the Capella Bar the cocktail is paired with a bacon canapé— together you truly feel transported to the Black Forest!   If you are in Dusseldorf I definitely recommend stopping in to try the combination.  In fact, follow @CapellaBBH on Twitter for a chance to win a complimentary cocktail as part of the #CapellaBarMonday promotion!

Smoked Wood Cocktail Bei Capella Bar

Smoked Wood Cocktail

In Deutschland wird das Wetter langsam kälter. Der Herbst ist da! Ich liebe diese Jahreszeit und kann es kaum erwarten meine Wollmützen rauszuholen und wieder Schals zu tragen. Ich merke immer, dass Herbst ist, wenn ich mich nach Getränken sehne, bei denen mir warm ums Herz wird. Philipp, einer der Barkeeper bei uns im Breidenbacher Hof, hat mir einen neuen Cocktail empfohlen, der mir genau das gewünschte Ergebnis verspricht. Diese Cocktailempfehlung ist Teil unserer neuen Reihe „Discover German Spirits @ Capella Bar“, innerhalb welcher unser Team Cocktails kreiert hat, die Deutschland repräsentieren. Mein neuer Lieblingscocktail ist der „Smoked Wood“ und Inspirationsquelle war der Schwarzwald. Er erinnert mich wirklich an den Schwarzwald und hinterlässt ein angenehmes warmes Gefühl. Wenn ihr mich fragt, ist dies der perfekte Start in die neue Jahreszeit und deshalb habe ich auch beschlossen, das Rezept mit Euch zu teilen.

Smoked Wood Cocktail

Smoked Wood

Zutaten:
3cl Monkey 47 Gin
1cl Arderg 10
2BL Pflaumenlikör
2cl Roses Lime Juice
4 Tropfen Schokoladenbitter

Zubereitung:
Die Zubereitung ist ganz einfach: Fügt alle Zutaten zusammen in ein Rührglas und verrührt sie gründlich. Probiert, ob das Verhältnis der Zutaten Eurem Geschmack entspricht und gebt alles in ein Glas Eurer Wahl. Das wars!

Der Monkey 47 Gin hat einen sehr individuellen und einzigartigen Geschmack und schmeckt sogar ein wenig nach Tannennadeln. In der Capella Bar servieren wir den „Smoked Wood“ mit einem Schinken-Canapé – zusammen ergibt dies einen wunderbaren Geschmack und man fühlt sich in den Schwarzwald versetzt! Solltet ihr mal in Düsseldorf sein, empfehle ich Euch die Kombination einmal zu probieren. Folgt doch @CapellaBBH auf Twitter, dort habt ihr jeden Montag die Chance einen kostenfreien Cocktail im Rahmen unserer #CapellaBarMonday Aktion zu erhaschen. Momentan bekommt ihr mit etwas Glück den „Smoked Wood“!

A Guide To The Best Food In Singapore

best food in Singapore Chili Crab

With Singapore Restaurant Week just around the corner, all the country is buzzing about the top restaurants to visit explore.  Staying true to its reputation as an epicure’s paradise, the Singapore Restaurant Week takes place twice a year.  Restaurants and eateries prepare special menus to showcase their cuisine and locals enjoy a week of hearty feasting.

This got me thinking of how Singaporeans truly love their food and will spare no expense to queue or travel for the best food in town.  Like it is often said, “when in Rome, do as the Roman’s do,” so when in Singapore there are just some dishes you must certainly not miss out.

best food in Singapore Chili Crab

The Best Food In Singapore:

1. Chicken Rice
Touted as the “national dish of Singapore,” Chicken Rice is one of my absolute favorite dishes.  Usually made with boiled or roasted chicken, the highlight of this dish is the aromatic “oily rice” that is made using chicken stock and fragrant Pandan leaves.

2. Chili Crab
Another favorite (for myself- and the rest of the Singaporean population!), Chili Crab features whole crabs stir-fried in a sweet and spicy red sauce.  Chili Crab is best eaten with a plate of Man Tou, a kind of Chinese bread, perfect for dipping into the mouth-watering chili sauce.

3. Laksa
For those who love spices, Laksa is a must-try!  With its Peranakan influences, Laksa is rich and savoury soup made with thick rice vermicelli boiled in a spicy coconut broth with dried shrimp.

4. Bak Kut Teh
Literally translated to “pork ribs and tea,” Bak Kut Teh is large slices of pork ribs boiled for hours in a clear peppery or herbal broth.  Traditionally this dish was served with a thick Chinese black tea meant to cleanse the body of the oil from the dish.

5. Satay
Asia’s version of a kebab, Satay is a barbecued skewer full of meat and is usually eaten with a rich peanut sauce and condiments such as onions and cucumber.  The defining feature of satay is the delectable aroma that it gives off when it is being barbecued.

Many of these local favourites, can be found at The Knolls restaurant here at Capella Singapore, make sure you try them during your next visit.  They truly are some of the best food in Singapore!

Fall Comes To The Grill Room At Capella Washington D.C.

Fall at the Grill Room

September is a bittersweet month.  It’s not easy saying farewell to gorgeous summer days, weekends by the Potomac River, and classic summertime dishes and cocktails in Georgetown.  But as the autumn leaves arrive and the seasons begin to change so do my taste buds and I begin to crave the richer warmer dishes and cocktails that warm the soul.  Fortunately my timing is impeccable as Capella Washington D.C.’s Chef Jakob has begun to create the fall menu for The Grill Room.

Fall at the Grill Room

The fall menu launch will take place on Wednesday, September 25th, but as your Capella Insider I’ve gotten a sneak peek.  Chef Jakob shared with me that he loves root vegetables and slow-braised dishes with rich flavor, just like he grew up on year-round in northern Sweden.   Each dish will incorporate these fall ingredients with the continuation of grilled meats and fish on the bone.  One dish I’m most eager to taste is the grilled Turbot served alongside a fried oyster!

Speaking of oysters, The Grill Room will be incorporating a local microbrew called, Port City Porter for his Autumn Braised Calf and Oyster dish.   The addition of this local brew will incorporate rich flavors of bittersweet coffee, dark chocolate, and a very complex malt character enhanced by yeast fruitiness.

Even better, The Grill Room will continue partnering with Stachowski’s Market, utilizing their homemade fall inspired ingredients.  Get ready for blood pudding spiced with Spanish Pepper, made with pig and beef blood.  Enjoyed with a tender suckling pig, Chef Jakob promises an absolutely delicious dish.

Follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for even more teasers about the new fall menu!

In addition to the new fall menu, Chef Jakob is teaming up with two Michelin Star Chef’s, Chef Hans Borén & Chef Johan Björkman on October 22nd at The Grill Room.  Together, these chefs will be offering the public two lunches and two dinners, using locally sourced ingredients to bring Scandinavian cuisine to DC!  Stay tuned with me to find out all the details and ticket information for this event.  You can also contact The Grill Room at 202-617-2424 or e-mail thegrillroom.dc@capellahotels.com for more details.