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Flavors of the World is back! The first gastronomic event of the year was dedicated to the distinct flavors of Mexico. From May 11th to 13th, Chef Francisco ‘Paco’ Ruano of Alcalde Restaurant took us on a voyage through the rich and unique flavors of Mexican cuisine. This was the first stop on this year’s culinary trip around the world, and it was an incredible success! All the tables at La Piazzetta were booked and we were witness to the guest’s pleased looks on their faces after each and every course.
Chef Paco Ruano is the head chef and co-owner of Alcalde Restaurant, named after the original market in Guadalajara. He has always been fascinated by the whole process of preparing meals, not just the cooking aspect, but everything down to the selection of ingredients from the market. His passion for the process is what helped give Alcalde its name. He learned to cook from his mother and grandmother and attended culinary school but ultimately feels that he has learned the most from working under other famously known Chefs such as Thierry Blouet. Alcalde has won awards and is renowned for its fantastic food! This Flavors of the World is one that we hope you miss!
The menu was very varied and we were pleasantly surprised with every dish. It wasn’t what you would normally expect out of Mexican food, since let’s be honest, the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about it is spicy but it was truly delicious. Although some of the dishes did have a small kick to it, it didn’t overpower the rest of the flavors giving those who are not fond spices the opportunity to enjoy each and every one of them. We tried the Green “Aguachile” with shrimp, cucumber, and seaweed. Aguachile is a Mexican dish made of shrimp, submerged in liquid seasoned with chili peppers, lime juice, salt, cilantro, and onions. Very often, fresh vegetables are added in this case Chef Ruano added cucumbers. This fresh seafood dish comes from the Northwest region of Mexico. It was unbelievably delicious given its simplicity. Super fresh and light – the healthy dish brought both crunch and smooth textures making it the perfect way to start the night.
The night also came with a bit of a surprise to all of us and something that I for one didn’t think would ever try – Escamoles with hazelnut butter and onion sofrito. Sometimes dubbed as ‘Mexican caviar’, escamoles are the larvae and pupae of ants belonging to the Liometopum apiculatum Mayr species which are often found undeath agave trees. The taste and texture are very delicate as well as creamy, it was nothing of what you might expect. The rest of the dishes on this 7 course dinner were delicious, going from crunchy to creamy, warm and aromatic but as a dessert lover, I particularly enjoyed the Rice pudding which reminded me a lot of my childhood when my mother used to prepare it but this one came with a new taste added by the summer truffle and the soy leaves. It was very flavourful, a delicious classic with a twist.
We saw a lot of friendly faces on Friday evening as we made our way around to say hello, and everyone commented how completely stuffed and satisfied they were! Flavors of the World has been a successful highlight in Casa de Campo over the past two years and we urge you not to miss the upcoming events. Flavors of the World returns on June 8th with Chef Kurt Smichdt, from the 99 Restaurant in Chile Stay tuned for the details!
The following pictures were taken by Mariobi Herrera on Friday, May 11th at La Piazzetta:
and of the dishes provided by Casa de Campo:
- June 8-10: Chile. Chef: Kurt Smichdt, from the 99 Restaurant
- July 6-8: Bolivia. Chef: Marsia Taha, from the Gustu Restaurant
- August 3-5: Argentina. Chef: Fernando Rivarola, from El Baqueano Restaurant
- October 5-7: Venezuela. Chefs: Carlos García and Santiago Gomez, from Alto Restaurant
- November 16-18: Brasil and Peru. Chefs: Jefferson Rueda, from Casa do Porco Restaurant, and Renzo Garibaldi, from Osso Restaurant
To book your reservation for the next “Flavors of the World” event call the resort directly at (855) 877-3643, (800) 336-5520, or (809) 523-3333 ext. 3165 and 3166.