Food Network Invades Villa Del Palmar Kitchens – Celebrating Celebrity Chef Week as they take over the kitchens of luxury resort, Villa del Palmar, Loreto, Mexico.
When you are a food blogger and you receive an invitation to attend Food Network Chefs’ Week at the beautiful and luxurious Villa Del Palmar resort at the Islands of Loreto, you grab your bag and go. No second thoughts. Just anticipation of what will be a week of delicious food and gorgeous scenery.Our first meal welcoming us to the resort included these shrimp tacos that were so good, I ordered them several days in a row! Guacamole that I still can’t replicate. Must be the magic of the area that made it indescribable. Fresh ceviche. Dip the chips into the liquid and scoop up that fish and you will feel the stress leave you and the warmth of Loreto settle in.
Getting to Loreto
Just a short flight from Los Angeles, the Villa del Palmar is located in the Baja peninsula at the Islands of Loreto. The resort is situated on the calmest, most stunning waters you have ever seen. Boating, fishing, snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, and dolphin and whale watching are just the beginning of all the activities you can do here. With the freshest of ingredients from the just-caught fish to the garden planted on the grounds, this experience will be all about the food!Three Chefs from the Food Network family, Penny Davidi, Melissa D’Arabian and Tregaye Fraser, would be doing cooking demonstrations, preparing meals and spending time with guests of the resort. This personal experience gave our group the opportunity to learn far more than “just” recipes. This was about the passion that cooking for others brings to chefs but also to those of us who love to cook. It’s about history and tradition and at Villa del Palmar, the freshest of ingredients.
Meeting Chef Penny Davidi
One evening, we had the good fortune to have Chef Penny take over as Executive Chef preparing a five-course dinner and beverage paring for us and guests of the elegant Danzante Restaurant. An added note, this restaurant was recognized with the 2016 Restaurant Wine List Award of Excellence by Wine Spectator for its large selection of wines from around the globeApricot glazed seared lobster tail on brioche toast over grilled apricot dusted with toasted pistachios
Note there was a course of cream of asparagus soup but I was enjoying everything so much, I forgot to take the photo!Wine pairing is L.A. Cetto Chenin Blanc 2014, Valle de Guadalupe
Jicama and grapefruit salad on colorful radish slivers with champagne vinaigrette
Filet Mignon topped with a red wine sauce with grilled shrimp on a creamy cauliflower puree, glazed baby carrots and roasted beets. Wine pairing is Roganto Piccolo 2014, Valle de Guadalupe and San Jacinto (Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Cabernet Franc, Merlot)
Dulce de Leche soufflé
Food Network Chef Agenda
Throughout the course of the week, all three Chefs were bringing their creative recipe skills to showcase the extensive fresh food offerings from the resort including a BBQ beach dinner, Taco Tuesday and poolside Mexican inspired cooking demonstrations as well as each preparing a five-course dinner highlighting their specialties. While our visit missed Chef Melissa D’Arabian, we can only imagine how fun it was to have all three chefs together talking “shop” with guests. Such a wonderful opportunity to experience the best and most creative meals prepared by Food Network Chefs during Celebrity Chef Week.Chef Penny Davidi and Chef Tregaye Foster
Dining at the Resort
It is important to note that while we were so fortunate to be eating dishes by known Food Network Chefs, the meals presented to us by the Chefs at Villa del Palmar were also quite impressive. There are 3 different restaurants at the resort offering different types of food from casual to formal. They accommodate food preferences with careful understanding and a desire to present you with a dish you will enjoy. As a non-meat eater, the various fish and vegetarian dishes I was offered were so delicious. I was teased on what I was missing out on but I wouldn’t trade what I was eating for anything.
Even the first meal of the day had presentation in mind:Fruit and yogurt with chilaquiles
Or Lobster Eggs Benedict from Chef Penny
Multi-course dinner at the resort’s Italian restaurant, Casa Mia:We started with a Horchata martini with espresso rim while we enjoyed the bruschetta with salmon, calamari trifolati (sauteed calamari rings with garlic, capers, red pepper and white wine), spinach salad with arugula and goat cheese with a balsamic reductionSeabass fillet with sauteed shrimp and vegetables on the side covered with pomodoro sauce and funghi trifolati (sauteed mushrooms with olive oil, garlic, red pepper and white wine)The dessert: chocolate cake with fruit and sugar art
If you are searching for a vacation spot that offers you comfort, luxury, the freshest of foods, spectacular water activities, a serene environment and a 3,900 square foot spa to relax, even more necessary after all the dining you will be doing, I would encourage you to consider Villa del Palmar at the Islands of Loreto. If you are unfamiliar with Loreto, I wrote about the many things to do and see on your visit to the Baja peninsula town. You will also find a too-good-to-refuse special generously offered to friends of Inspiring Kitchen.
As I leave you dreaming about the glorious beaches and amazing food, I am sharing the recipe for the Tamarind Margarita that you will soon call your own. For the icing on the cake (or margarita!), use Tajin to rim your glass.
- 2 ounces white tequila
- 2 ounces Tamarind base
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- 1 dash fresh lemon juice
- 6 ice cubes
- 1/4 cup Tajin
- Pour into a cocktail shaker and shake to the rhythm of salsa music.
- Or use a blender if you prefer frozen margaritas.
- Rim the glass with a slice of lemon and then dip into Tajin.
- Tajin is a chili, lime and sugar mix. See link in post for details.