Monday, April 2, 2007

Cancun, April 2007

After my last Pilates session on Friday, Doug and I hopped a Continental flight bound to Cancun, Mexico. It has been many months since we have been able to enjoy time at the ocean. Once my employer announced I could get the weekend off a couple of weeks ago, Doug immediately set about booking our trip.

Ritz Carlton, Cancun
Some of my best hotel experiences have been at Ritz Carltons so I have dreamed of visiting this one for a while. We were met with a Pina Colada at check in. We rewarded ourselves with an oceanfront room with a small balcony. The main areas are in a French 18-19th Century, which is surprising since there is some really beautiful Spanish architecuture to inspire them. Our plan was to stay at the resort our entire trip. I will say the service was so impeccable as to be near perfect.

Culinary Center
Onsite at the hotel, is a Viking equipped kitchen where cooking lessons are taught. This is really my thing but Doug joined the class as well. Our host Chef was perfectly suited for his job - a great chef with a lot of personality. Our class was the Mexican BBQ and we learned how to make the best Margarita I have ever tasted. When we returned to our room from feasting on our dishes, we had received a thoughtful gift from Frank and Maggie (aka Snake and Petunia). We plan on hosting them and preparing the menu of that day. (Frank is a Texas Mexi-American and will finally delight in a meal placed before him with something he recognizes - he has barely recovered from couscous and panini!)

1 3/4 cups Tequila
1/4 cup orange liquer
1 cup water
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup sugar
1 tea lime zest
1/3 cup coarse sea salt
lime wedges

Mix all ingredients into a blender with ice. Spread salt on a shallow dish. Rub the rims of 4 glasses with a cut side of lime wedge and dip each glass rim in the salt, shaking off the excess.
Add Margarita mixture to glass, decorate with lime wedge in and serve.

Chef Rory Dunaway - Chef de Cuisine, Culinary Center at Ritz Carlton, Cancun

Club Grill
We splurged one evening on a sumptuous meal. The splurge was not in terms of dollars but rather in terms of calories! I started with a Frisee salad that had pears sliced paper thin and made into a chips, walnut praline sauce and blue cheese dressings. Doug had a Lobster cream soup with an avocado puree. We shared a lamb entree. We drank Beringer´s Founders Estate Merlot. The amazing part is the grill has a Souffle menu. We had the Chocolate, with a chocolate and vanilla sauce. We practically scraped the bowl. We even took a few spins on the dance floor, most memorably to the tune, The Way You Look Tonight.

We made the ubiquitous appointments at the resort's Kayanta Spa. I got in some Pilates Matwork , while Doug hit the Elliptical. We kept to our goal to remain at the resort with one exception - a long walk to Starbucks on our last morning. Walks at the shoreline and a little frolicking in the water rounded out our weekend.

This was my second trip to Cancun. The first was made in my mid-twenties with great pal, Kenny Martin. Doug and I had a few laughs as I reminisced about Kenny and that trip: working his nerves about what he was doing with his dirty underwear, his theft of my Pepto-Bismal, short skirt and braless and the word, whoredog.

Just the break a girl living in Texas, raised in North Florida, needed.

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