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Introducing the Punta Mita Gourmet & Golf Guests – Part I: Mexican Guest Chefs


It’s that time of the year that we love the most, when we get to experience the best of local and international cuisine, wine, tequila and mezcal with world-class golf in this, the most exclusive destination in Mexico: Punta Mita!

The 8th edition of the Punta Mita Gourmet & Golf Classic will take place from November 29th through December 2nd this year, and as it is a tradition already, it will be  a long weekend full of the best food, wonderful golf, great company and amazing parties.

As we have done it in previous years, we will be sharing with you a series of articles showcasing the Special Guests participating in the Punta Mita Gourmet & Golf 2018. In this first article, we invite you to meet the Mexican Guest Chefs who will be surprising us with their creations.

Abraham Salum

Born and raised in Mexico City, Abraham graduated from the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vermont. He has been cooking for 27 years and credits his inspiration to pursue his profession to his two grandmothers, who he says were amazing cooks. After his formal culinary education, he decided to continue enhancing his skills by working in kitchens in France and Belgium before returning to Mexico. It was in 2005 that he became a first-time restaurant owner when he opened Salum Restaurant on Cole Avenue in Dallas. He is a highly celebrated chef, being featured on Good Morning Texas and was invited to star as the celebrity chef at the Super Bowl XLV at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium. He also belongs to many organizations and benefit committees including March of Dimes, the American Heart Association, AIDS resource center and others.

Alondra Maldonado

She studied Teaching English as a Foreign Language at the Anglo-Mexican Cultural Institute (ANGLO), translation at Berlitz, and also studied literature and philology at UAM and UNAM. For many years she did translation and taught English.

Being a natural born cook, she dedicated herself to it and launches herself as cook of her own restaurant, La Vita Delicatessen in Tepic. Later, she studied at the Instituto Argentino de Gastronomía / Argentinean Institute of Gastronomy (IAG) in Buenos Aires, where she worked in a number of restaurants including Fernando Mayoral’s Thymus

Her book Flavors of Nayarit is the direct result of this fundamental project, which is overflowing with anthropological intuition, love for knowledge and research, but above all with affection for human beings and their circumstances. Alondra Maldonado travelled through the whole state of Nayarit, visited the 20 Municipalities, interviewed over 250 people and shared their daily activities such as milking cows, making traditional cheese, fishing, walking in the mountain in search of edible wild mushrooms of the rainy season and sharing rituals with the cora and huichol people.

Flavors of Nayarit has been awarded by The Gourmand Cookbook Awards in the following categories 2015 for Mexico.
• Best Historical Recipe Cookbook
• Best Local Cuisine
• Best First Book
• The Best of the Best in 20 Years as Best Historical Recipe Cookbook.

Due to her research and constant promotion of the traditional cuisine of the state of Nayarit, in 2016, was named as Delegate of the Nayaritan Gastronomy by the Mexican Gastronomy Culture Conservatory.

Angel Vazquez

It is more than 15 years since Angel Vázquez in Puebla, has brought the flavors of different parts of the world such as Morocco, Thailand, Greece and of course Mexico “among many others” to desired palates to experience a gastronomic journey, with flavors, textures , colors and flavors that together with the research and creativity expressed in the intro restaurant. Graduated from the Culinary Institute of Mexico in 1999 from the Bachelor of Gastronomy and with a Master’s degree in Food and Beverage Management at the same institution Angel continued his professional education at schools such as Ecole Lenotrê and Ecole Ferrandi both in Paris, as well as in Lyon and Thailand, I work together in restaurants in New York, Paris and Barcelona. Within his professional and banqueting experience Ángel has been ambassador of Poblana cuisine to serve great personalities in places like, Luxembourg, Singapore, Berlin, San Francisco California, Peru, Madrid, Chicago, Vatican, Jakarta, Milan, Azerbaijan, Paris, London, etc., as well as in different places of the Mexican Republic, always representing its Poblana-Mexican cuisine with the contemporary vision that represents it. Recently he was the chef in charge of serving food for Pope Francis at the Apostolic Nunciature in Mexico City.

Other projects where you can taste the work of Angel are: intro catering, Salomé Antojeria del Mar and Mezcal, Coal Central de Hamburguesas, Augurio comedor Poblano (named by expansion group as the best new restaurant in Mexico in 2017).

Atzin Santos

After finishing his studies at the Superior College of Gastronomy, Atzín began his career at the Restaurante Faro in Acapulco. The next year, he obtained the position of Sous Chef at L’Albufera Restaurant. In 2007, in Morelia, Michoacán, Atzín worked for Rotega Corporative, influencing all its businesses: the Posada Vista Bella Hotel, the Cantabria Convention Center and the Trico Bakeries. At the beginning of 2008, he was installed as Executive Chef at Guria Santa Fe Restaurant, in Mexico City. For 6 successful years Atzín supervises the quality and gourmet experience of its guests, taking it to be among the best restaurants in the city.

During the summers of 2006 and 2008, Atzín served as stager for two world-famous restaurants in Spain: El Bulli by Chef Ferrán Adriá and A Fuego Negro by Edorta Lamo, respectively. His curiosity leads him to Artemisia Restaurant by Luis Robledo Richards and Gilles Nordin. The year he spends there (2014) as Executive Chef, Atzín develops a new gastronomic concept: the ‘franchise kitchen’ as journalist Jorge

Toledo of El Economista called him. At the beginning of 2015, a group of friends, proposed an association and the position of Executive Chef, with the task of bringing the traditional cuisine of over 16 years of Atalaya Restaurant, to become the Restaurant of BarrioSibarita that is today.

Nominated as Young Talent Millesime 2016 Guia Mexico Gastronomico The 120 Best Restaurants 2017 and 2018 Mexico Guide MB 2017 and 2018. Nominated as Best Restaurant consolidated by Food and Travel 2017.

Betty Vazquez

Also knows as “Chef Betty,” she was born, raised and currently resides in the historic port town of San Blas in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico. San Blas is a picturesque, authentic Mexican community with a fascinating history and well known for its quiet atmosphere and surf-ready beaches along with divine dining experiences. As the executive Chef at the El Delfín in the Hotel Garza Canela, 32 years of experience under her belt and a fine education at Le Cordon Blue in France, it’s simple to see why she was able to position herself among the top elite Chefs of Mexico. She likes to invite students, customers and hotel guests to glimpse into her kitchen while she gets creative. Her secret is all about the balance of sweet and spicy, being careful not to overpower the dish with one or the other. She is the Culinary Ambassador for the Riviera Nayarit and Judge of Master Chef Mexico.

Erick Guerrero

Guerrero studied his Gastronomy degree in the Port of Veracruz, Mexico. Former intern of international kitchens in Spain, Italy and France; arriving to cook at Le Chateaubriand next to Iñaki Aizpitarte. On his return to Mexico, he settled in Los Cabos for 4 years, opening the Capella Pedregal Resort.
In 2011 he arrives at Pujol restaurant in CDMX as an intern. With dedication, quality and passion, Chef Enrique Olvera gives him the opportunity to name him Chef just a week away from being there.

In 2015 he left Pujol’s kitchen being the best restaurant in Mexico and sixteenth in the world. That same year he inaugurated his personal project:
Two, restaurant located in the city of Boca del Rio, Veracruz. In 2016, it obtained the highest rating that can be awarded in the responsible management of marine species for “Good Fishing”, an initiative of Pelagic Life, which seeks to promote responsible consumption of marine species. In 2017, Chef Erik Guerrero was nominated among the five best Revelation Chef of Mexico at the Food and Travel Reader Awards.

Pedro Abascal

Chef Pedro Abascal is known for creativity, versatility and his love of locally-sourced products, characteristics he brings to his renowned Playa de Carmen restaurant, PRIMO, where he creates rustic-style menus which change seasonally to reflect the freshest local ingredients, inspired by his passion for the culinary traditions of Quintana Roo and the Yucatan.

Chef Abascal graduated from the Hoffman School of Hospitality in Barcelona in 2007. He worked in numerous Spanish kitchens before returning to Mexico to take a position at the Mandarin Oriental Riviera Maya Hotel, later opening the Duke Roma restaurant in Mexico City. From 2014 to 2016, he served as Food & Beverage Manager for Koba Casa Club at the acclaimed Mayakoba Resort, before being recruited by Thompson Playa del Carmen to serve as Executive Chef, overseeing the property’s three restaurants: Catch, C Grill and Cinco. He has made numerous television appearances on FOX, El Gourmet and as a guest juror on MasterChef México. He also launched his own Mexican wine label, Monociclo, from the vineyards for the Guadalupe Valley.  With talent, vision and an impressive culinary career, Pedro Abascal is the culinary talent to watch in Riviera Maya.

Antonio de Livier

Born in Mexicali, Baja California, Antonio de Livier is a renowned chef with a great enthusiasm that took him to look for new horizons in the US, where he lived for several years. Nowadays, Antonio is Executive Chef at Demetria Restaurant in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Demetria was recently nominated as best restaurant in a hotel by Travel and Leisure.

Alfredo Villanueva

Born in Mexico City, Alfredo Villanueva is a talented artist and empirical cook with a fresh and original culinary proposal. Alfredo owns its own restaurant named Romero y Azahar in Monterrey, and has become an important pillar in the gastronomic scene of the city.

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