cacao cuisine with a Mexican twist
I’ve had the pleasure of working with the culinary team of Prairie Ink Bistro in Winnipeg over the past two years in developing chocolate-based dinners that would teach chocolate lovers about the sweet and savoury side of chocolate and cacao.
My appreciation for the versatility of cocoa in the culinary world developed after spending a week on the beautiful island of Saint Lucia and being inspired by the incredible offerings of cacao cuisine.
I now travel the world, seeking out chefs who are bringing the nuances of chocolate into their culinary offerings. Mexico was no disappointment. I ate molés in numerous places–each slightly different, and learned to train my palate to identify the different ingredients that made each unique.
While staying at Villa Azalea I had the good fortune to meet Chef Hugo Ahumada, who pleases gourmands with his culinary offerings at Maia Restaurante in Puerto Vallarta. Chef Hugo treated me to a meal that included his amazing Hugo Cacao Salad, a salad that included mixed greens, berries, nuts, fresh cheese, and freshly-toasted cocoa beans topped with a chocolate vinaigrette. It was one of the best salads I’ve ever had.
Our next course was the main event: Molognesa–Chef Hugo’s innovation of a molé and cacao based bolognese sauce served over pasta. I loved it!
I had several other meals featuring cacao cuisine during my Chocolatour of Mexico, but I would have to say the special meal in the outdoor kitchen at Villa Azalea thanks to the creative ingenuity of Chef Hugo Ahumada was the one that still leaves my taste buds tingling.
If you’re in Puerto Vallarta, do visit his Maia Restaurante and you will no doubt bring home some tasty memories of your own.