Dining on vacation has the potential to make or break an entire trip. My experience at Secrets Akumal in Riviera Maya was nothing short of extraordinary. Every bite and detail throughout the resort was transcendent. I traveled to Mexico with bloggers from different cities including Chicago, Denver, Toronto and Philly. We had a diverse group, spanning subjects all the way from fashion to food. The resort went the extra mile to showcase how incredible dining in Mexico can be. It comes as no surprise that Bravo TV’s Top Chef chose Secrets Akumal to be the home of this seasons grand finale.
The first night was hosted at the wine cellar and oh was it a spectacle. Never before had I experienced such theatrics from course to course. The Executive Chef Jose Mena prepared an extremely thoughtful sequence of dishes. Head Sommelier Alberto Ek paired each plate with a specific drink. Wine, champagne and chocolate martinis complimented each flavor.
It was a beautiful sight to see an entire fleet of well dressed staff personally escort each dish. The atmosphere was electric with 10 of us drinking, eating and photographing while the Chef explained the meal. Mr. Mena described the evening as a French and Mediterranean fusion.
We began with the Chef’s special appetizer and a glass of Moet & Chandon. This was followed by bourguignon escargot beautifully marinated in butter, parsley, garlic and thyme.
The escargot was cooked to perfection and complimented well by a toasty slice of brioche. Next we enjoyed a traditional lobster bisque and artichoke cream. The presentation of every plate was masterful.
The fan favorite was definitely the delicious rack of lamb accompanied by fungi risotto. It rested in pine nuts and a cranberry crust served with baby carrots in a scallion puree. Alberto Ek was keen on maintaining a continuous flow of wine with the decanter. The elegant shape fit naturally into the luxurious dining experience at Secrets Akumal.
We finished off with the pastry chef’s degustation. The entire meal and experience was spectacular, setting the tone for the rest of our time at the resort. As the week went on we continued to dine at the 9 excellent restaurants. Everything culminated with the Top Chef finale viewing party. Stay tuned to hear more in the next post.