Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Fest – Cooking Demos Featuring Enrique Olvera and Other Star Chefs

I attended an afternoon of cooking demos at El Dorado Royale Spa Resort from three pairs of star chefs, visiting from Mexico, Argentina and New York. For a hour each, a pair of chefs demonstrated some favourite recipes, while sharing their personal experience and insight into the culinary world. The crowd and I were lucky to learn and interact with these chefs, but also taste and smell ingredients and sample the final product. When I receive the recipes for each dish, I’ll add them to this post. And yes everything tasted amazing!

Josefina Santacruz & Aaron Sanchez: Roots in NY

The first pair of chefs are originally from Mexico, but are joining us from NYC. Josefina Santacruz is brains behind Pampano, considered the best Mexican restaurant in New York. She also runs Dumas, a top gourmet food store in Mexico City. Aaron Sanchez is a star on both Fox and the Food Network. He’s also owner of Tacombi Taqueria in New York and several other restaurants across the United states.

Star Chefs Josefina Santacruz & Aaron Sanchez


Elena Reygadas & Fernando Trocca: Pairing the North with the South

The second hour brought tastes of the north and the south together, with chef Elena Reygadas from Mexico and Fernando Trocca from Argentina. Elena was trained at the French Culinary Institute of Manhattan. Later she moved to London and started working with Georgio Locatelli which grew her love of Italian cooking. She then returned to Mexico City to open Rosetta, a world-acclaimed Italian restaurant. Fernando Trocca’s career started in 1986, which saw him working in Europe, alongside celebrity chefs like Gato Dumas and Francis Malmann. He moved to New York in 1997 and was quickly recognized as a master chef, which say him cooking for celebrities such as Cindy Crawford, Jack Nicholson, Calvin Klein and many more. He currently owns restaurants in New York, Mexico and Argentina. With his talent and experience, he now advises a company that owns 12 Argentinian restaurants in London.

Star Chefs Elena Reygadas & Fernando Trocca


Enrique Olvera & Mikel Alonso: The San Pellegrino Chefs

The final hour featured Enrique Olvera and Mikel Alonso. Enrique Olvera is considered the best chef in Mexico and runs the world-renowned restaurant Pujol. Pujol is ranked the 36th best restaurant in the world, with the man himself receiving multiple awards. He’s also published several books and recently started a TV series that goes behind the scenes of Pujol. Mikel Alonso from Spain has an accomplished resume, including executive chef, top restaurant advisor  and a professor of French and Spanish cuisine. He’s currently the owner of BIKO restaurant in Mexico City, which has made it on San Pellegrino’s “100 Best Restaurants” list twice. San Pellegrino has also put him on their “Top 50 Chefs” list three times in a row.

Star Chefs Enrique Olvera & Mikel Alonso


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Simon Gerard
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Simon is a luxury marketing consultant and editor at Luxury Branded. He writes about luxury brands, travel and lifestyle trends for our blog and our clients. He lives for travel and spends most of his time between Vancouver, BC and the Riviera Maya in Mexico. Follow him on Twitter: @S_Gerard and on Google Plus: +Simon Gerard