Top Mexican Chefs Talk Revival of Nixtamalized Corn at Grand Velas Best of Mexico Traditional Cuisine Forum

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Five of Mexico’s top chefs came together last month at Grand Velas Riviera Maya for an intimate panel on the current landscape of Mexican cuisine, focusing on the process of nixtamalization for corn which is seeing a major revival.

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an intimate panel on the current landscape of Mexican cuisine, focusing on the process of nixtamalization for corn which is seeing a major revival

Five of Mexico’s top chefs came together last month for an intimate panel on the current landscape of Mexican cui-sine, focusing on the process of nixtamalization for corn which is seeing a major revival. The discussion was part of The Best of Mexico´s Culinary Traditions Riviera Maya, held at the AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Riviera Maya resort. Corn nixtamalization is the process of soaking dry corn overnight in hot water with limestone. The process makes the corn become more nutritious by releasing the vitamin B3, shifting the balance of proteins. Some kitchens in the US ad-ditionally are starting to employ the process, which has been around in Mayan cooking since 1500 BC. Additional high-lights of the discussion included the growth of interest in traditional cuisine versus modern and contemporary alterna-tives, the Chilhuacle chili as the next big ingredient, and regional specialties. The event also included a multi-course dinner focused on traditional Mexican flavors, cooking techniques and ingredients combined with a Mexican wine and mezcal tasting, traditional Barbacoa barbecue, artisanal beverage tasting and storytelling dinners.

Participating guest chefs included Oaxacan food authority Reyna Mendoza; Ricardo Muñoz Zurita, author of Dic-cionario Enciclopédico de la Gastronomía Mexicana; Yucatan chef David Cetina; Joel Ornelas of Tintoque in Puerto Val-larta; and Pablo Salas, who operates Pueblo in Chicago in cooperation with Richard Sandoval and Lona in Fort Lauder-dale. They teamed up with chefs Humberto May Tamay and Laura Avalos of Grand Velas' Mayan restaurant, Chaka, and Executive Chef Mario Lopez.

Under the direction of Maître Cuisinier de France Michel Mustiere, Culinary Director of Mexico’s Velas Resorts, The Best Of series is part of the resort’s commitment to promote local and international gastronomy. For the fourth con-secutive year, the resort invited renowned chefs based on a special culinary theme to prepare a standout dining expe-rience alongside the top chefs at the resort. In 2019, the resort is set to explore the Best of Asia hosted by Chef Wayu “Light” Wattanakamin of the resort’s AAA Four Diamond Restaurant Sen Lin.

For reservations or additional information, call 1-888-407-4869, or visit https://rivieramaya.grandvelas.com/.

About Grand Velas Riviera Maya:
The AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Riviera Maya is an ultra-luxury all-inclusive resort set on 206 acres of pristine jungle and mangroves and with the finest white sand beach in the Riviera Maya. Guests can choose accommodations among oceanfront, ocean view and a Zen-like tropical setting, embraced by the flora and fauna of the Yucatan Peninsula’s jungle. All 539 designer-like suites are exceptionally spacious, more than 1,100 square feet each, all with balconies, and some with private plunge pools. All feature fully stocked mini bars, L’Occitane amenities, artisanal mezcal, and Nespresso coffee machines. Bathrooms deserve special mention with walk in glass shower, deep soaking Jacuzzi tubs and marble interior. Eight restaurants, including five gourmet offerings, present a tour through Mexico, Europe and Asia. Cocina de Autor, at the hands of world renowned celebrity chefs Bruno Oteiza and Mikel Alonso, holds the AAA Five Diamond Award, the first all-inclusive res-taurant in the world to win this prestigious distinction. Se Spa is the region's largest spa sanctuary at more than 90,000 square feet, known for its authentic Mexican treatments, offerings from around world and signature seven-step water journey. Other features include 24-hour Personal Concierge; 24/7 in-suite service; three swimming pools; two fitness centers; water sports; innovative Kids’ Clubs and Teens’ Club; baby concierge; Karaoke Bar; Koi Bar; Piano Bar, and business center. The resort offers more than 91,000 square feet of meeting space and outdoor areas for events inclusive of a 31,000-square-foot Convention Center, able to accommodate up to 2,700 guests. The resort has won numerous awards from Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, USA Today and several other magazines and major companies worldwide, including Virtuoso’s Best Spa and TripAdvisor’s Hall of Fame. A member of the Virtuoso Hotels & Resorts Program, Grand Velas Riviera Maya was built and is operated by Eduardo Vela Ruiz, founder and president of Velas Resorts, with brother Juan Vela, vice president of Velas Resorts, by his side. For reservations or additional information, call 1-888-407-4869, or visit https://rivieramaya.grandvelas.com/.

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