Playa del Carmen, Mexico – March 11, 2015: The executive chef of recently opened Hotel Cacao and its acclaimed Nibs Restaurant, Alejandro Cuatepotzo, was recognized as a “Rising Star Chef of Mexico” at the 2015 Wine and Food Festival Cancun-Riviera Maya.
The Wine and Food Festival Cancun-Riviera Maya is Latin America’s premier culinary event, featuring many famous chefs and celebrities, that is celebrated for identifying the hottest new chefs of the year. Chef Cuatepotzo, a protégé of renowned Mexican chef Enrique Olvera, has enjoyed rave reviews for his exciting and innovative new menu at Nibs that taps the fresh, indigenous ingredients of the region and reinvents favorite Mexican seafood and meat dishes. He joined the team at Hotel Cacao from Hotel Matilda where he was chef de cuisine of Chef Olvera’s acclaimed Moxi restaurant.
“This is a delicious recognition of the remarkable culinary skills of Alejandro who is a key player in the sophisticated guest lifestyle we have developed at Hotel Cacao,” said Director Bruce James.
Noting that Hotel Cacao, which opened in October 2014, is the first property of a Hotel Matilda-themed collection of lifestyle-focused boutique hotels, Mr. James added: “Our path to success is the cross-pollination of skilled and creative chefs and progressive concepts and practices.”
Hotel Cacao immerses guests in a kicked-back, relaxed “Hippie Chic” lifestyle of sophisticated accommodations and cutting-edge dining and mixology experiences. Located on Playa del Carmen’s famous 5th Avenue, the 60-room property is located in the heart of the destination’s chic scene of boutiques, restaurants, bars and nightclubs.
Since opening in fall 2010, Hotel Matilda (www.hotelmatilda.com
), located in San Miguel de Allende, the crown jewel of Colonial Mexico, has forged an international image for its sophisticated ‘Matilda lifestyle’ guest experience. Hotel Cacao shares this lifestyle – that includes innovative dining and mixology, designer rooms and suites, and vibrant art-filled interiors – but at the same time has its own distinctive individual personality, as will all the hotels in the collection. The third property of the Matilda-lifestyle collection is slated to open in 2016 in the San Angel district of Mexico City.
Hotel Cacao’s spacious, modern rooms and suites have a soothing, welcoming style and color scheme of natural earth tones, and offer every contemporary amenity including bathroom amenities by Italian fashion designer Missoni.
The property is imbued with dramatic architectural elements such as a light-bathed central court with a hyacinth lily pond, bamboo, palms, birds of paradise and banana trees, and huge canvas accents in geometric shapes that provide shade and protection from the elements. The interior design is clean and contemporary with bold color accents, Mexican travertine marble walls, tropical wood and stone floors, a flowing waterwall, and many intriguing special art and design touches such as three antique native canoes, a front desk cut from the trunk of a massive ceiba tree, and colorfully painted, shell-encrusted VWs by Tommy Hilfiger. The open-to-the-heavens roof-top bar features spectacular views of the Caribbean and Cozumel Island.
In Nibs, the area’s tropical ambience is re-imagined indoors with guests dining amid an original jungle mural by international Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra, a flowing water wall, and banana and passion fruit plants. In stark contrast to the colorful tropical atmosphere, Namuh-designed walnut tables and chairs with Italian carrera marbletops are accented by simple white linens and china. The restaurant’s name reinforces the chocolate theme of Hotel Cacao: Nibs are unsweetened chocolate chips, created when cacao beans are crushed in the chocolate-making process.
The shops and restaurants on the street level of the building include Maíz de Mar, a marisquería (seafood restaurant) by Chef Olvera. For guests who want to go to the beach, the sand is a 5-minute walk with privileges at a beach club that includes lounge chairs, towel and food and beverage service.
For more information about Hotel Cacao:
Dropbox with photos of Chef Cuatepotzo, Nibs restaurant and dishes:
Marian Gerlich / Ed Placidi
P&G Communications * Los Angeles
Maralyn D. Hill, M.Ed., The Epicurean Explorer
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