Why Mexico Is My Gastronomic Home

by Chef Michel Mustière

My story is an anthology of lucky encounters with the culinary world that goes back to the tender years of my childhood: the exotic flavors of Réunion Island near Madagascar – where my mother grew up – and the always fresh products of the countryside from the Norman roots of my father, they both have forged this chef’s career that I have assumed with frank seriousness.

Exciting and always rewarding, this profession has given me great satisfaction: recently, and at the hand of the visionary and innovative spirit of Velas Resorts, I had the honor to receive at my home, Grand Velas Riviera Maya, the Annual North America Chapter of Maîtres Cuisiniers de France in its 53rd edition – which for the first time ventured out of the United States and Canada to choose Mexico as the venue.

Mexico, impossible not to fall in love with this country and the wonders of its cuisine; so I lived three lives, I would not finish discovering the richness of their dishes. It is here where I have taken root for the last 25 years and where I have discovered a new home to give expression to my rigorous Chef training, –but also the freedom to explore the new cuisine–. In each of the six restaurants at Grand Velas Riviera Maya the gourmet tour is a tribute to the different cuisines represented: to the elegance of French food, of course, and to the exuberant flavors of Italy, the sophistication of Asian creations, the traditions of Mexico, local specialties with exquisite flavors from the Yucatan Peninsula, and haute cuisine by Bruno Oteiza and Mikel Alonso (Biko, Mexico City).

One of the most extensive wine cellars in the region gives birth to extraordinary pairings with dishes such as baked white fish fillet, crispy philo pasta, mushrooms “persillade” and potato cubes stuffed with mashed peas and hazelnut butter, or the Lamb shank in “birria” reduction with chickpeas, freshly boiled beans scented with tequila, and blue corn tortillas.

Gastronomy plays a stellar role in Grand Velas. This year the youngest resort of the brand, Grand Velas Los Cabos (November 2016) has surprised many so far, with seven restaurants part of its offer; each one with a different specialty: from coastal dishes, with ceviches and fish of the day, to French, Italian, Mexican cuisine, meat and seafood cuts, and also an author option under the baton of Chef Sidney Schutte –Two Michelin Stars (Librije’s Zusje, Amsterdam), who brings his unique touch of masterfully integrated flavors directly from the Netherlands.

Grand Velas always manages to leave a good taste in your mouth, without a doubt.

About Michel Mustiére  Chef Mustiére is a member of Maîtres Cuisiniers de France and the Culinary Academy of France; Corporate Culinary Director for Velas Resorts hotels, in charge of the gastronomic design of its 23 restaurants. He has important recognitions and accolades such as the Medal of Honor of the Maître Cuisiniers de France (the only one in Mexico), Medal of the Professional Teaching of Maître Cuisiniers de France (the first in th

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