How 1 Resort in Cancun is Highlighting the Best Food From Chefs Worldwide

Headed to the Riviera Maya region or Cancun, Mexico? There are plenty of resorts with beautiful beachfront views, excellent service, and great buffets — but not every lodging takes gastronomy seriously. For foodies everywhere, there’s one resort, in particular, you should be keeping your eye on.

Iberostar’s Chef on Tour event is one to watch

Iberostar Grand Paraiso

Iberostar Grand Paraiso | Iberostar via Instagram

Not only does Iberostar promise a range of all-inclusive experiences for its guests, but Director of Operations Rafael Carmona also has a passion for bringing a taste of the culinary world to everyone who sets foot on the property. The resort itself offers restaurants specializing in Italian, surf and turf, Japanese, and gourmet (as well as Mexican cuisine and tacos, of course). But for those looking for a more intimate experience with Michelin Star chefs, the Chef on Tour experience is what’s setting Iberostar apart from the rest.

The experience showcases one chef’s work through a unique menu they’ve constructed just for the Iberostar audience. Fusing flavors from their homes with the fresh produce of Mexico, you can tell the menus are executed with the same care and precision they’d bring to their Michelin Star restaurants. Not only that, but the event itself includes a gathering beforehand where you have the opportunity to mingle with fellow foodies, take in the tropical atmosphere, and be completely catered to by the attentive staff. And don’t worry — there’s no shortage of champagne, either.

Michelin Star chef Matt Lambert was most recently featured

Chef Matt Lambert

Chef Matt Lambert | Matt Lambert via Instagram

In August 2018, Iberostar Grand Paraíso welcomed New Zealand chef Matt Lambert to showcase his one-of-a-kind menu. His cooking journey began in West Auckland at the age of 14 — and since then, he’s seen his culinary dreams come to fruition with New York City’s The Musket Room. Just four months after opening (and having some doubts along the way as to whether or not the New York crowd would even have an interest in New Zealand cuisine), Lambert received his first Michelin Star. He told the Michelin Guide, “It was one of the greatest days of my life — I was crying, it was awesome.”

Matt Lambert's lamb with peas and grains

Matt Lambert’s lamb with peas and grains | Matt Lambert via Instagram

For Iberostar, Lambert pulled out all the stops. His first few courses, which were served as hors-d’oeuvres while everyone attending the event gathered to take in the atmosphere, included mussels, mince and cheese croquette tarts, and pork rillettes. As for the sit-down meal, guests were served with perfectly prepared oysters, mackerel, and salmon spiced with a unique blend of herbs. This was then followed by the “meat and potatoes” aspect of the dish — a medium-rare lamb with peas and grains (though still atypical from what you’d find on anyone’s home dinner table).

Matt Lambert's salmon

Matt Lambert’s salmon with pickled apple and spices | Matt Lambert via Instagram

Of course, there’s dessert as well. The meal ended with two striking desserts: watermelon and sheep milk sorbet, and a sweet-and-sour pavlova with passion fruit cream. The use of native Mexican ingredients in the desserts didn’t go unnoticed, either.

Each course was paired with a different wine to complement the flavors as well. From rosé to brut to Malbec, each pairing brought forth the sweetness or richness of the dish.

Matt Lambert’s unique dining experience served as the perfect date-night for diners as well. It was $150 USD for the entire night, which included the nine courses, wine, atmosphere, and multiple appearances from the chef himself.

Upcoming dinners showcase the talents of women chefs

Chef Begona Rodrigo

Chef Begõna Rodrigo, one of the chefs featured in Women with Star | Begõna Rodrigo via Instagram

The Grand Paraíso isn’t the only Iberostar resort featuring chefs from around the world. Their resorts in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica are also drawing crowds for their gastronomy events. In fact, at the Iberostar Grand Bávar in the Dominican Republic and the Grand Rose Hall in Jamaica are featuring women chefs in December, along with Mexico’s Grand Paraíso.

In the Women with Star event taking place at all three locations, four famous Spanish chefs are forming a sensational joint menu that’s highly creative. This meeting-of-the-minds is set to feature the flavors of Spain and Mexico with fresh seafood, proteins, and a sweet potato dessert. For any foodie hoping to get a glimpse inside how four excellent female chefs can create a cohesive menu, this event in gastronomy is wholly unique. You certainly won’t leave hungry.

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Editor’s note: Guest accommodations were provided by Iberostar Grand Paraíso. Opinions and recommendations are our own.