Melody Maker is one of Cancun’s newest gems and with it comes more opportunities for delectable dining in the resort city. TravelPulse sat down one on one with the resort’s executive chef, Eric Robert De Maeyer to find out what keeps the cuisine fresh and fun.
De Maeyer came to Melody Maker from the Fairmont Mayakoba Riviera Maya where he also held the role of executive chef at the 401-suite property that included several restaurants that blended Asian, Latin and coastal flavors. Before the Fairmont, he was the executive chef at the Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort Riviera Maya.
Now, De Maeyer’s culinary visions head up the kitchens at Melody Maker Cancun, with its 600 suites and beach villas. This includes seven food and beverage outlets, catering, banquets, room service options and more.
TravelPulse: What is the driving force behind the menus at the resort?
Eric De Maeyer: We have adopted a modern culinary trend that includes a bit of craziness. We encourage our team to be proactive, and we give them the freedom to be as creative as possible. Good communication among team members and a lot of sense of humor are also key to produce menus that are enticing to our guests.
TP: How often do you change/rotate the menus?
ED: We change our menus approximately every three to six months. Within that time frame all our menus are re-structured to incorporate new ingredients or trends to make them more attractive.
In addition, every restaurant in the hotel features daily specials, which is also a good way to test what guests would like to see on future menus.
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ED: Botanico, the hotel’s international Asian restaurant, is one of my favorites. Even though I like them all, I like this one because of its versatility.
TP: Do you have a signature dish at any of the restaurants?
ED: At Melody Maker Cancun, we have a special dish made with local ingredients that are smoked through an organic process based on regional herbs (wood-less). It is a technique that mixes traditional smoking and high vacuum procedures, something different from volatile smoking.
TP: What is a culinary must-do at the resort?
ED: We encourage everyone in our team to be sustainable in everything we do. Both when picking the ingredients we include in our dishes as well as with the culinary techniques we choose when cooking them.
We believe in respecting the ingredient. We promote the smart and rational use of resources, such as gas, water, plastic, leftovers, detergents and we have recycling programs in place.
TP: Since the resort is in Cancun, what are some of the dishes that guests should try for authentic Mexican cuisine at Talavera?
ED: Talavera has a variety of dishes to please every palate, from classic dishes to totally surprising ones.
There is one dish that is worth trying because of its originality, although it’s seasonal: hogfish ceviche with jackfruit scent and habanero pepper tea.
Another one that’s very appealing as well is duck confit burrito with wild mushrooms, cilantro, Oaxaca cheese and pasilla pepper sauce.
As for dessert, I love our modern version of Gloria cajeta tart, with nuts and dulce de leche.
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