Velas Resorts hosted a private dinner in Vancouver last week for 32 journalists and travel advisors. From the first bite of molecular-gastronomic Basque-Mexican fusion cuisine to the last, one message was clear: Velas Resorts may be all-inclusive hotels, but they do not serve your typical all-inclusive food.
The seven-course dinner was a chance for the small luxury resort chain to show off the jewel in its culinary crown, Chef Xavier Peréz Stone, executive chef of the Grand Velas Riviera Maya’s restaurant Cocina de Autor and winner of the 2014 International Iron Chef competition in Toronto.
“It’s a culinary experience you’ll never forget, I’m sure,” said Sophie Raymond, Velas Resorts’ regional sales manager for Canada.
When the first dish, a foie gras appetizer, came out topped with cotton candy, it was clear she was right. Guests around the table agreed that first dish was one of the night’s showstoppers, along with a lobster, black corn and truffle puree salad, and the coconut soup and pineapple ice dessert featuring freeze-dried coconut, meringue, white chocolate, and basil.
Chef Xavi’s Cocina de Autor has a Five Diamond award from AAA (the first restaurant at an all-inclusive hotel anywhere in the world to receive this honour), and five Velas Resorts restaurants have Four Diamond ratings. All Velas Resorts restaurants are a la carte.
“It’s more than an all-inclusive,” Raymond said. “It’s ultra-luxury.”
Velas Resorts offers four hotels in Mexico: two in Puerto Vallarta, one in the Riviera Nayarit, and one in the Riviera Maya. Three of the four are family-friendly and offer kids’ clubs, while the Casa Velas in Puerto Vallarta is for adults only.
Raymond said Velas Resorts will be focusing more on the Canadian market this year. She came on board two months ago to provide a full-time presence in Canada, with a focus on ensuring Canadian travel agents know more about the Velas Resorts product.
For more information about Chef Xavier Peréz Stone and his work at the Grand Velas Riviera Maya, visit www.grandvelas.com.
Menu for the Velas Resorts Private Dinner in Vancouver by Chef Xavier Peréz Stone
Foie afrutado - Foie gras wrapped in lettuce and cotton candy
La langosta negra- Lobster, black corn and truffle puree
El mar en verde monocromático - Catch of the day (cod) with three Mexican sauces
La frutabilidad del venado - Venison, red berries and beets
Sopa de coco y pan de leche - Coconut soup and pineapple ice
Choco parece plata no es - Chocolate, olive oil truffle and banana mole