Sabor y Vino Culinary Festival 2015 At Capella Ixtapa

Sabor-Vino-capella-ixtapa-2015

Sabor-Vino-capella-ixtapa-2015

Book your calendars for an exquisite culinary experience!  I would like to invite you to join us at our 2nd annual gastronomic festival Sabor y Vino at Capella Ixtapahappening from May 21st to May 24th 2015.  Among the events and activities at this year’s festival you will find a tantalizing opening cocktail, cooking and chocolate demos, a tequila tasting and an exquisite six course tasting dinner with beer, wine and tequila pairings all exclusively designed by our guest chefs and Executive Chef Miguel Baltazar.

This year we’re excited to have these renowned chefs and companies join our very own Chef Miguel Baltazar: Chef Emiliano Ayala, from Restaurant Tzirio in Querétaro,  Chef Alfonso Huerta, from Restaurant Allium in Guadalajara, chocolatier Chef Mauricio Montiel, from Dolcenero in Mexico city, and Chef Felipe Meneses, from Restaurant Bar La Katrina Mezcalería right here in Zihuatanejo.  Local producers of coffee, beer, coconuts, fishermen and others will participate as well– including the producer of artisan beer from Morelia, Cerveceria Malora, and Café Zihuatanejo, just to name a few. There will be an opening event after party at La Katrina Mezcaleria, and a closing after party at the Loot gallery, and so much more.

As we continue to put the final touches together, please be sure to follow me on my Facebook page, for some behind-the-scenes details!

Capella-Ixtapa-sabor-vino-festival-2014-a

Everyone is looking forward to celebrating some of the finest Mexico’s cuisine at Capella Ixtapa and I am sure you will love it!

If you are interested in joining me for the event please email  fbsupervision.ixtapa@capellahotels.com to reserve your spot! But hurry, the event, which takes place over two day, has a maximum capacity of 34 guests.  Hope to see you at Sabor y Vino Culinary Festival 2015 at Capella Ixtapa!

Festival Culinario Sabor y Vino 2015 en Capella Ixtapa

Sabor-Vino-capella-ixtapa-2015

Sabor-Vino-capella-ixtapa-2015

Marca tu calendario para vivir ¡una experiencia culinaria exquisita! Tengo el gusto de invitarlos a que nos acompañen en nuestro 2o Festival Gastronómico Sabor y Vino de Capella Ixtapa, el cual tendrá lugar del 21 al 24 de Mayo del 2015.  Entre los eventos y actividades de esta edición del festival podemos encontrar un tentador coctel inaugural, demostraciones y cocina con chocolate, catas de tequila y una exquisita cena de degustación de seis tiempos sabiamente maridada con vino, tequila y cervezas artesanales, todo exclusiva y cuidadosamente diseñado por nuestro Chef Ejecutivo Miguel Baltazar junto con nuestros Chefs invitados. Capella-Ixtapa-sabor-vino-festival-2014-a

Este año contamos con la emocionante participación de grandes nombres que acompañan a nuestro Chef Miguel Baltazar, entre ellos:  El Chef Emiliano Ayala, del Restaurante Tzirio en Querétaro,  el Chef Alfonso Huerta, del Restaurante Allium en Guadalajara, el chocolatier Chef Mauricio Montiel, de Dolcenero en la Ciudad de México y al Chef Felipe Meneses, del Restaurante Bar La Katrina Mezcalería aquí mismo en Zihuatanejo.  También contaremos con la participación de pescadores y productores locales de café, cerveza, cocos, y muchos productos más, entre ellos los productores de cerveza artesanal, Cervecería Malora, desde Morelia, y el Café Zihuatanejo sólo por mencionar un par.  También tendremos una fiesta después del coctel de inauguración del festival en La Katrina Mezcalería, y otra fiesta después de la clausura del evento en la Galería Loot, así como muchos eventos paralelos más!

Mientras seguimos afinando los últimos detalles de este gran evento, por favor asegúrate de seguirnos en nuestra página de Facebook, para que veas algunos de los detalles “detrás de escena”.

Estamos esperando con ansia poder celebrar las delicias de la cocina contemporánea mexicana en Capella Ixtapa, y estoy segura que ¡les encantará a ustedes también!

Si estás interesado/a en acompañarnos en este maravilloso evento, por favor contáctanos via correo electrónico a: fbsupervision.ixtapa@capellahotels.com para reservar tu lugar!  Pero apresúrate, el evento, que tiene duración de dos días tiene un exclusivo cupo limitado a solamente 34 invitados.  ¡Esperamos verte pronto en el Festival Culinario Sabor y Vino 2015 en Capella Ixtapa!

Cinco De Mayo con Margaritas de Mango

mango-margarita-recipe-capella-ixtapa-mexico

En México somos bien conocidos por nuestra naturaleza festiva y alegre, y sinceramente no podemos decir que no a ninguna excusa para celebrar la vida y a las personas cercanas a nosotros.  Como se aproxima el Cinco de Mayo, y hay muchas festividades planeadas principalmente con nuestros vecinos del norte, me gustaría tomar esta oportunidad para compartirles algunos de los planes que tenemos para celebrar esta fecha aquí en Capella Ixtapa.  Yo estoy principalmente emocionada con el cocktail creado específicamente para la ocasión por nuestro mixólogo Miguel, ¡Y no puedo esperar más para compartirlo con ustedes!

Hay mucho más que guacamole, nachos y tequila durante las celebraciones del Cinco de Mayo, que contrario a los que muchos creen no es el Día de la Independencia de México, el cual es en Septiembre 16.  En Mayo 5 se celebra a batalla de Puebla, la cual conmemora la victoria del ejército mexicano sobre el ejército francés.  En Mayo de 1862, un poderoso ejército francés avanzaba hacia la Ciudad de México.  Los franceses se encontraban bien armados, disciplinados y eficientemente habían destruido cualquier resistencia en su avanzar a la capital mexicana.  Sin embargo, al llegar a las afueras de Puebla, sucedió algo que nadie esperaba:  Soldados mexicanos, la mayoría de ellos sin ningún entrenamiento formal y con un armamento bastante deficiente, derrotaron a los franceses.

La verdad es, que el Cinco de Mayo es mayormente una fiesta regional celebrada en la ciudad y el Estado de Puebla, con un modesto reconocimiento a nivel nacional en México.  Sin embargo, aquí en Capella Ixtapa ¡no podemos decirle que no a ninguna celebración!  Nuestro mixólogo Miguel amablemente nos comparte su receta para uno de sus cocteles más populares, la Margarita de Mango:

mango-margarita-recipe-capella-ixtapa-mexico

Margarita de Mango

Ingredientes:

• 1.5 oz.  Tequila Maestro Tequilero reposado
• 1.5 oz.  Jugo de naranja
• 1 oz.   Cointreau
• Néctar de agave
• Jarabe o concentrado de mango
• Sal para escarchar

Preparación:

• Escarchar el vaso con sal y llenarlo de hielo.
• Añadir tequila, jugo, Cointreau, jarabe de agave y de mango en una coctelera shaker y agitar vigorosamente.
• Sirve el contenido sobre hielo (cubos o frappe).
• Decora con una fruta estrella o con una flor de bougainvillea.

Salud y feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Chocolate: Food Of The Gods

cocoa-bean

September is probably the most important the month in the year for Mexicans, because it’s the month when we celebrate our independence.  This year we are celebrating 204 years of independence from Spain, and at Capella Ixtapa we have prepared several activities throughout the resort to celebrate this special day.  I decided to visit Chef Miguel and talk with him about Mexican sweet gold, chocolate.

cocoa-bean

Cocoa bean

“Chocolate, perhaps the most popular of sweet foods, has a long history in Mesoamerica and was an important part of Mayan and Aztec culture,” explained Chef Miguel, “at which time it was neither sweet nor a food, but a beverage, and a sour one at that.  Today’s word chocolate derives from the Aztec language Nahuatl, from word xocolalt, meaning bitter water (there are several explanations about the origin of the word chocolate; this one is one of the most cited).  The Aztecs made a variety of chocolate drinks, combined with honey, nuts, seeds, spices, flowers, and hot chili pepper among others.  The thick and cold drink was believed to be a health elixir with aphrodisiac qualities, bringing wisdom and power to anyone who enjoyed it.”

Aztecs valued cocoa beans so much, that they used is as a currency as well.  For example, fur cocoa beans could get you a pumpkin and ten would but a rabbit.

Chocolate tamal, a dessert at Capella Ixtapa

Chocolate tamal, a dessert at Capella Ixtapa

The Aztecs attributed the creation of the cocoa plant to their god Quetzalcoatl, who descended from heaven on a beam of a morning star carrying a cocoa tree from paradise.  The scientific name of cocoa tree Theobroma is very suitable to its heavenly attributes, as it means “Food of the Goods.”  The Aztec emperor Montezuma drank thick chocolate dyed red.  The drink was so prestigious that it was served in golden goblets that were thrown away after only one use.  He liked it so much that he was purported to drink 50 goblets every day!  In Aztec times, the chocolate drink was used in important religious and social rituals, primarily by priests, emperors, soldiers, wealthy and honored merchants.

Montezuma was the one who introduced cocoa beans and chocolate to young Spaniard Hernán Cortés, who conquered México in 1519 and in 1528 returned to Spain with some cocoa beans.  The Spaniards were the ones first starting to add sugar to the drink, and it became quite the delicacy.  The formula for this highly demanded and noble potion was kept a secret, which Spain managed to keep from the rest of the world for almost 100 years!

Slowly, the secret was revealed, and chocolate was introduced to royal courts in France in 1615 and Austria in 1711.  A Frenchman opened the first chocolate house in London in 1657, and Italians began serving chocolate in Florence and Venice in 1720.  The chocolate was first introduced to United States in 1764. Industrial Revolution in 18th century helped make chocolate available to masses.

We got first eatable solid chocolate in 1847 by an Englishman Joseph Fry, and… you know the rest.

Today, chocolate in Mexico is still widely used.  Not just as a drink or sweet food, but also as an ingredient in the popular savory mole sauce.  The most traditional use for chocolate is for hot beverages such as Atole, Champurrado and Mexican Hot Chocolate.

Chef Miguel was kind enough to share his recipe form Mexican Hot Chocolate, one I am sure will become a favorite at your home!

HOT MEXICAN CHOCOLATE

Although Montezuma drank his frothy chocolate cold, you can enjoy a delicious whipped version of hot Mexican chocolate.
In a bowl, put 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, and mix with enough water to make a thin paste.
In a large pan, bring to a boil 4 cups milk.
Break 2-4 cinnamon sticks into the milk.
Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
Carefully stir in the cocoa mix.
Turn off heat and whip to a froth just before serving.

It tastes godly, doesn’t it?

For activities at Capella Ixtapa during our Patriotic month celebrations, please email the Capella Ixtapa team at pa.ixtapa@capellahotels.com, or visit the Capella Ixtapa Facebook page for the latest updates.

Kayaking in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo

kayaking-in-ixtapa-zihuatanejo

kayaking-in-ixtapa-zihuatanejo

Every time summer comes to town, I start humming that popular Ella Fitzgerald song “Summertime and the living is easy…”  Even though in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo we have a fantastic warm weather all year long, and every day looks like a vacations, summer is still summer…  It’s the time of vacations when I go to visit my friends and family, and when they come to visiting me in Ixtapa, and the time everything just feels a little bit more relaxed.

July temperatures in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo average around 90 F, which make it a perfect excuse to spend most of my free time in the ocean or at the pool.  During my days off work I love visiting our local beaches, and I have recently discovered my new favorite summer activity – kayaking.  I love kayaking solo, but kayaking in tandem is so much fun as well!

And while you can kayak in many of our Ixtapa Zihuatanejo beaches, my favorite spot for kayaking is at the lagoon at Barra de Potosí, a large salt water lagoon located about half an hour south of Zihuatanejo.  Here you can hire a guided tour, or kayak on your own.  The flora and fauna at the lagoon is amazing, you can admire unique aquatic birds, and paddle gently among beautiful tropical mangroves.  Don’t forget your waterproof camera, binoculars, sunscreen and a hat.

After the kayaking tour we love to enjoy fresh seafood at some of the beachfront restaurants at Barra de Potosí, and sip cold cocktails while relaxing in the hammock.  Barra de Potosí is a small fishing village with around 150 families, who all live work in the fishing industry- therefore you can be certain that the fish you will be enjoying is as fresh as it gets.  I love listening to the stories of fishermen, and it is probably just one reason more that makes me come for a kayaking tour to this pristine little village so often.

My second favorite kayaking spot is at Ixtapa Island.  I visit it when I don’t have a lot of time for my kayaking excursion.  It is a perfect place for kayaking, snorkeling, swimming, or just enjoying a relaxing beach day.

For more information about kayaking in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo and for organized tours, please contact your Capella Ixtapa Personal Assistant here.

Photo via Flickr user Loxy.

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!