Getting crafty with cuisine is a great way to experience the south-of-the-border good life.By: Becca Hensley
In Mexico when someone says “Sí no son enchiladas,” they really mean “that won’t be as easy as you think.” But if you want to make enchiladas on your Mexican honeymoon, it actually couldn’t be any simpler. This diverse country with swoon-worthy beaches, lush jungles and divine coastline offers gourmet-inclined travelers a plate full of culinary opportunities. If you’re looking for a taste of the good life, you will definitely find it here.
Yucatan Specialties on the Riviera Maya
Unesco added traditional Mexican cuisine to its intangible cultural heritage list in 2010 for its unique and ancient techniques, farming methods, cooking processes and strong regional and local identities. Learn all about it at Rivera Maya’s Mayakoba, a unique eco-sensitive development with canals snaking their way through the wildlife-filled mangroves to the sea and four distinctive resorts — Banyan Tree, Fairmont, Rosewood and the new Andaz. Each has its own amenities, and all share various common spaces, such as an environmentally sensitive golf course and El Pueblito, a newly built, classically arranged pueblo plaza and Mayakoba’s metaphorical living room.
Here, along with a chapel, cafés and shops, the Pueblito Cooking School offers an array of themed cooking classes, many led by Latin culinary stars, such as chef Richard Sandoval. In addition, the Rosewood Mayakoba invites students to book some time at their restaurant La Ceiba Garden for instruction in Mayan-inspired techniques and food, from ceviche to asado (the art of grilling and smoking). Banyan Tree Mayakoba’s newly minted HAAB’ experience is a Mayan cuisine and cultural demonstration that gets raves from guests. The reservation-only event includes dinner, hands-on prep and an escort from traditionally garbed Mayan warriors. At the Fairmont Mayakoba, learn how to make arrachera, or marinated skirt steak, and a guacamole and green sauce at the resort’s regional cooking classes.
Where to Stay: Romantic and private and just minutes from the beach, the elegant Banyan Tree Mayakoba sprawls across the jungle, along a series of winding canals. Though its 132 individual villas and suites, complete with personal pools, are inspired by Asian architecture, they blend gracefully into the landscape. Room rates start at $574 a night.
Photos courtesy of Mayakoba