Archive for September, 2010

Latido de Mexico Takes LA!

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

by Susan de Lima

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Roof Top Pool, SLS Hotel – Beverly Hills

Over my years living and working in Playa del Carmen I have met countless amazing individuals from all walks of life. Moving from Canada to start a new life and business in Mexico took a leap of faith so when I was invited to go to Los Angeles, CA to meet, learn and shadow one of the best events companies in the business I took another leap! I have often heard the saying “Without risk, there is no gain” or something like that and I have embraced this whole heartedly.
Upon landing in LA and being greeting by my wonderful host, I knew I would love it there! We went for dinner in Manhattan Beach at a quaint restaurant, James Beach. Being tired from a day of travel we went home where California welcomed me officially with an earthquake. At first I thought I was over tired and perhaps had one too many glasses of wine! All was fine and I had lived through many hurricanes in the Caribbean so I took my queue from Lynn and relished the experience checking the news for the number on the Richter scale.

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Good Gracious Team and Lynn my host

I was fortunate enough to observe and learn with GOOD GRACIOUS EVENTS, www.goodgraciousevents.com , during my stay. Each day I was greeted with a new and exciting experience. From attending a Sony Play station event for several thousand where my mentor, Pauline Parry, toured me through the catering process for an amazing spread of brunch goodies to a fabulous concept of food trucks to host several different types of foods. It was a hit and I was humbled by the ease the team conducted themselves. My brain still swims with inspiration and ideas for my own catering and events business in Playa.

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Brussell Sprouts with Lime Foam, BAZAAR Restaurant

Then it was off to the SLS Hotel, Beverly Hills where I was again in awe and amazement. This luxurious hotel which was designed by Philippe Stark who definitely has the most interesting design imagination. Dining in BAZAAR by Jose Andres was a fantastic culinary experience for the remarkable flavours and stunning presentations. We actually went back a second time realizing that there was so much more to see and I am sure there is still more.

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Le Chateau Vineyard near Malibu

It was never dull, on a road trip to Le Chateau Vineyard as we transported the wedding cake (it arrived safe and sound!) while viewing the gorgeous countryside. There I was able to witness the Good Gracious Event team in action setting up a stunning wedding on a hill top. I watched in envy as there was an actual outdoor kitchen as we have had some interesting experiences with remote locations here in Mexico! We later dined on a picnic lunch in the cutest retro campground that is for rent at the Chateau outfitted with airstream campers and vintage cars.

We attended a wedding planning event held by “The Knot” which is a California based magazine and fabulous. From designers, florists and food this was another great learning opportunity for me not to mention FUN!

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The Knot Event – Pauline Parry & Susan de Lima

And did I mention the shopping!? Just another thing I miss living in a touristic place where you can always find a T-shirt that says “Playa del Carmen” in any colour! From the downtown garment district to a quaint farmers market I truly shopped till I dropped! Note*buy and extra bag…cheaper than being extremely overweight at the airport! We spent a day perusing the famous Venice Beach followed by a lovely backyard barbque. It couldn’t be better.

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Farmers Market – Asparagus & Baby Purple Artichokes

My fantastic trip ended with a night out at the House of Blues in Hollywood for a Gregory Isaacs concert. I am a huge reggae fan and this was the perfect ending to a perfect trip!

Thank you to everyone who made this adventure so memorable and I look forward to seeing you in Playa!

Akumal Turtle Bay Cafe & Bakery

Monday, September 13th, 2010

by Monica Hartlief

As the restaurants’ chairperson for the Taste of Playa executive committee I feel it is my duty to get to know all of our participating restaurants. And I take my job very seriously. Which I why I asked my fellow Taste of Playa foodie Michele Kinnon to join me on a fact finding mission to Akumal. This year we have 2 participating restaurants from this beautiful resort village overlooking the Akumal Bay, Lol-ha Restaurant and Turtle Bay Cafe. Michele wrote a very nice post about Lol-ha Restaurant just yesterday so it is up to me to talk to you about the Turtle Bay Café and Bakery.

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Talking about The Turtle Bay Café and Bakery is something I do gladly because I thoroughly enjoyed the time spent at the café, the location, the decor but most of all the food! The menu is huge, we were talking to Bart, he owns the café with his wife Jennifer, and he told us he kept trying to take things off the menu but then repeat clients would come to visit and they would make him put it back on the menu, so he now just leaves it on.

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The Turtle Bay Café serves breakfast, lunch, dinner (from November) but since it is also a bakery they have lots of delicious looking fresh baked goods as well. I’m pretty sure there is something for everyone here. There was for us because Michele and I both had a salad, and they were huge and fresh and tasty and wonderful. I had a mandarin coconut shrimp salad with rice noodles, fresh mandarin, almonds and of course coconut shrimp. Not just one or 2 little shrimp but many large and delicious coconut shrimp. Oh my, when I think about the coconut shrimp now, I want to jump into my car a drive to Akumal for more.  Michele’s salad had the Arrachera and blue cheese piled on so high I thought she’s never get through it. But, thankfully I didn’t bring an amateur with me to have lunch in Akumal.

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Mandarin Coconut Shrimp Salad

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Black & Bleu Salad

I couldn’t be happier that the Turtle Bay Café and Bakery is part of Taste of Playa 2010 and will showing be off its culinary expertise on November 21st.

Turtle Bay Café and Bakery is located in Akumal (beach side) on the left side of the public parking area. It is slightly hidden behind the trees so just take the path and after a few steps you’ll see the café.