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  • Melanie Beard

Habanero Chili Salsa in Grand Velas Riviera Maya

Chef Ricardo de la Vega of Frida restaurant at the AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Riviera Maya invites foodies to test their taste buds with the recipe for his Habanero Chili Salsa. Created to represent the flavors of Mexico, the salsa emphasizes traditional and essential ingredients enhanced by the acidity from the lemon, spicy habanero and smoke. Adding a different element to at-home dishes, the salsa is best served as an accompaniment to seafood, ceviche, poultry, tacos, or roast meat.

In October, Chef de la Vega is one of five chefs hosting the Best of Mexico Riviera Maya at the resort that will highlight the best of the new tendencies in high Mexican cuisine. Grand Velas Riviera Maya invited five of the best Mexican chefs known internationally for their trend setting culinary art to share their creativity, talent and passion for Mexican cuisine through this gastronomic event.

Headlined by Zahie Téllez, Carlos Gaytan, Francisco Ruano, and Mikel Alonso, the event is a 10-course tasting menu, original dishes featuring ingredients and seasonings from all of Mexico. The special tasting menu will be offered over the four nights, and is included in the daily rate for all guests of this top all-inclusive resort.

Set on 206 acres of pristine jungle and mangroves and with the finest white sand beach in the Riviera Maya, the AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Riviera Maya is an ultra-luxury all-inclusive resort. Guests can choose among three separate ambiances in this Leading Hotel of the World, including adults only oceanfront, family friendly 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, plasma TVs, Wi-Fi, L’Occitane amenities, artisanal tequila, 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 celebrity chefs Bruno Oteiza, Mikel Alonso and Xavier Pérez Stone, holds the AAA Five Diamond Award, the first all-inclusive restaurant in the world to win this prestigious distinction. Grand Velas Spa, a Leading Spa of the World, 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 Teen’s Club; 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. This year, the resort entered TripAdvisor’s Hall of Fame for obtaining the Certificate of Excellence for five consecutive years in addition to the Signature Spa being awarded “Best Luxury Resort Spa-The Americas” at the World Luxury Spa Awards 2014. Grand Velas Riviera Maya was built and is operated by Eduardo Vela Ruiz, majority owner, founder and President of Velas Resorts, with his brother Juan Vela, Vice President of Velas Resorts.

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