Grilled octopus salad with cactus pico de gallo (Photo by Brad A Johnson)
I travel to Mexico frequently—mostly for the food. And whenever I come across a cooking class in Mexico, I almost always give it a shot. Last month I wrote about a class in Puebla where I learned to make an incredible mole poblano. I also wrote about the fish tacos at Four Seasons Punta Mita, from an afternoon cooking class at the resort’s beachside grill, Bahía (where they serve an incredible white sangria), led by celebrity chef Richard Sandoval and executive chef Philippe Piel. Here’s another recipe from that class: a super-easy, incredibly delicious grilled octopus with cactus pico de gallo.
Step One: Catch an octopus.
Good luck with that. (Actually, it’s pretty easy these days to find good quality frozen octopus any decent fish seller.) The Four Seasons is lucky enough to have a bunch of local fishermen who catch the fresh octopus in the ocean in front of the resort (or somewhere thereabouts).
Bahia at Four Seasons Punta Mita (photo by Brad A Johnson)
A small fishing boat glides up the beach in front of the Four Seasons Punta Mita, just north of Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s Pacific Coast.
A beach butler and one of the hotel’s lifeguards wade into the surf, waves crashing into their chests and faces, to greet the fishermen. Not much bigger than a dinghy, the boat holds only two fishermen, and it takes their combined strength to hoist a large insulated cooler over the edge. The heavy package splashes into the surf. The staff signal “OK” to the fishermen, grab the cooler and haul it to shore, running barefoot through the blazing-hot sand to the resort’s beachfront restaurant, Bahía. Continue reading
Ceviche at Cima in Beaver Creek (photo by Brad A. Johnson)
It’s been snowing like CRAZY in the Rockies this month. And if that wasn’t enough, here’s yet another delicious reason to get to Beaver Creek RIGHT THIS MINUTE. Globetrotting superchef Richard Sandoval (of New York’s Maya and L.A.‘s Zengo, etc.) has opened his latest restaurant, Cima, just below the Beaver Creek ski basin at the Westin in Avon village. This is vintage Sandoval, a brilliant weaving together of Latin American and Asian flavors with skillful technique: tuna tiradito and octopus ceviche; pork belly ramen with a coddled farm egg; chipotle chicken udon noodle soup with a red chile pozole broth… Westin Riverfront Resort, 126 Riverfront Lane, 970-790-5500
Take a look around… Continue reading