Maroma Resort & Spa by Oriental Express is located on the beautiful sandy strip of Rivera Maya. I had to meet the Chef who runs all 3 restaurants at the resort. With extensive expertise in the cuisine of Mexico, Chef Loza blends a passion for traditional and local flavors with a desire to preserve the rich traditions of the Mexican culture. He plans to bring that philosophy to the resort’s culinary offering, working with the area’s finest local suppliers to integrate the freshest local flavors and ingredients.
“Food is an important part of Mexican culture with family recipes being passed on from generation to generation,” said Loza. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to be part of the family at Maroma, providing our guests with a culinary experience that celebrates the traditions of Yucatan and complements the luxury and elegance of the resort.”
Chef Loza’s authentic style blends classic Mexican preparations with the casual street food of Mexico City, creating elegant dishes with true authentic essence. Signature dishes include lobster enchilada with homemade mole sauce, smoked salmon pizzeta with guacamole and dry tomatoes and, a local Yucatan inspired dish, soft shell crab Tikin Xic with achiote, habanero, avocado and citrus salad.
Previously, Chef Loza served as the Executive Chef at Jumby Bay and Las Ventanas, both are Rosewood Resorts. He also distinguished himself at several of Mexico City’s most acclaimed restaurants, including Restaurant Le Cirque, Restaurant Ciboulette and Restaurant L’Olivier. In 2005, Chef Loza was awarded first place in “Best Mexican Young Chef”—a national contest of traditional and contemporary Mexican cuisine. He is a graduate of Escuela Internacional de Turismo with a degree in hotel and tourism management. I was lucky to interview one of the most famous Chefs in Mexico.
Alina: Please tell a bit more about restaurants at Maroma. How they are different? And how would you describe menus at each restaurant?
In Maroma we offer our guests culinary experiences in its elegant restaurants and bars, sharing our passion for traditional Mexican cuisine.
An evening option is El Sol Tapas & Restaurant with its new Mediterranean style cuisine with a Pre-Hispanic Mexican twist based ón local ingredients, herbs and spices. The “Tapas” Concept creates a casual approach to all our guests making of this cuisine a healthy and flavorful experience.
The simplicity of the menu and the freshness of the flavors includes basic ingredients such as flavors of citrus, herbs, olive oil, all kinds of meat, poultry and seafood, the personality of the Chiles and spices and the eclectic mix of Local Ingredients that make this an authentic experience
El Restaurante we offer a selection of the best regional dishes in small portions, the goal of the menu is to learn through its flavors and traditional ingredients. Each dish is described briefly mentioning the ingredients that compose it and the region to which it belongs.
Freddy’s Tequila and Ceviche Bar during the day a selection of over 120 tequilas and mezcal paired with a daily variety of six exotic ceviche specialties prepared tableside. At night our menu includes a variety of sushi and sashimi with original features of the region.
Alina: How do you blend European and Mexican cuisines?
It’s very easy because a lot of the “European” ingredients were imported from Mexico and some other Latin-American Countries. Such as the Tomatoes, Zucchinis, Corn, Potato, Beans, Chocolate, Vanilla, Coffee, etc. We just take some Techniques or dishes from the Mediterranean Cuisine and we add a little touch with our ingredients, like Herbs, chiles, Vegetables, Fruits, etc.
Alina D: Do you use some of the Mayan influences? Is Mayan and Mexican cuisine similar?
”Of Course, all my cooks are from the Mayan region so they have those flavours in their blood, we can get every mayan ingredient and utensils; that’s why we’ll create our Mayan Village with a real mayan kitchen, this is a new project for June 2011.
Mexican Gastronomy and Mayan Cuisine… The Mexican Gastronomy is something that here in Maroma we try to explain and educate that it is not what the people think. Mexico has different cuisines depending on the regions, for example in Chiapas you can find three different styles of cuisines from the coast, from the Center of the State and from the rainforest (which is Mayan Region too). Each state has different cuisines, ancient traditions, and ingredients. That’s why the UNESCO accepted the mexican gastronomy as a Heritage for the Humanity. The Mayan cuisine is the traditional cuisine from this region. But here in Maroma we try to serve dishes from the different cuisines in Mexico.”
Alina: Do you use only local products?
“Yes, All the Vegetables, Fruits, Chiles, Olive Oil From Baja, Cheeses From Puebla, Chiles and Insects From Oaxaca, Some Sea Food From the Pacific Side, Mussels From Ensenada, Coffee and Vanilla from Veracruz, Chocolate from Chiapas, Shrimps From the Gulf Of Mexico, Lobster From the Caribbean Sea, Mexican Wines and Spirits, Everything Should be from the Region in order to have the real Taste of Mexico.”
Alina: And what ingredients do you import and from where?
”We import ingredients like Olives, French Cheese, Olive Oil, Prosciutto, Arborio Rice, Pastas, Zafron, Spices, Vinegars, Couscous, etc.”
Alina: What spices are most used in your kitchen?
”We like to give our Food the Personality of the Mexican Chiles, the Refreshing Flavour of the Citrus and Fresh Herbs, and we use different types of Salts and Spices depending on the Dish that we Prepare.”
Alina: What’s your favourite dish at Maroma and what cuisine do you like most?
”I love simple dishes, It is hard to choose one out of all the different options that we offer, I think every dish is great because we serve it with Love. However one of my favourites which represents Mexico´s flavours is the “Botana Mezcalera” a dish served with Guacamole with grasshoppers, Black Mole Enchilada and Tuna sashimi with tamarind and for sure, the pair of white Mezcal.
My Favourite Cuisine after my own Culture and Flavours the cuisine from the Mediterranean Countries, I love it”
Alina: What specials can you make for your guests? Something unusual and exciting..
Everything must be exciting in Maroma, like the guacamoles with pomegranate, Chorizo and Grasshoppers, the Sushi served with Mexican Ingredients. The “Botana Mezcalera” a dish with three tapas to pair with Mezcal. We have Daily Specials with the Freshest Ingredients, and the weekly specials as the Taco Night, The Beach Barbecue, the Chef´s Table with a Menu of Chiles, The cooking Classes, etc. So we try to serve everybody as if you were at Home “we don’t cook for guests, we just enjoy with friends”
Alina: Do you often change menu (depending on a season?)
We’ll change depending on the Season and the likes of our Guests
Address: Maroma Resort and Spa,
Carretera Cancún Tulum Km 51, Riviera Maya,
Solidaridad, Quintana Roo, México
Tel: 52 (998) 872 82 00