Curtis Stone Opens Woodend at the Maroma in Riviera Maya, Mexico – Robb Report

The Maroma in Riviera Maya recently reopened after a full-scale renovation and redesign. And the five-star hotel enlisted the lauded chef Curtis Stone to help it out in the culinary department.

Woodend, the resort’s new signature restaurant, is Stone’s first outing in Mexico, after he opened the Michelin-starred Maude and Gwen in Los Angeles as well as Georgie in Dallas. Stateside, he’s become known for simply prepared dishes, often cooked over an open fire, and he’s transferred those techniques to the beachside Woodend. But here, he’s also drawing inspiration from the Yucatán Peninsula locale and its history.

Green salad

Green salad

Pia Riverola

“Mexico has such a rich culinary heritage of passing recipes down through generations, which is something I value greatly,” Stone said in a statement. “Becoming inspired by the surrounding area, its ingredients, and the local traditions in such a treasured playground is an incredibly exciting opportunity.”

The menu at Woodend is a spare three pages, focused on seasonal vegetables, local seafood, and wood-fired meats. To start, an oyster crudo is paired with pineapple mignonette and lemongrass, while steak (or beet) tartare gets a Mexican spin with roasted jalapenos, pearl onions, watermelon radishes, and crispy tortillas. Veggies run the gamut from a potato pave with jocoque (a Mexican dairy product based on fermented milk), leek ash, and egg yolk to simple zucchini with basil pesto and breadcrumbs.

Steak from the wood-fired grill

Steak from the wood-fired grill

Pia Riverola

As far as larger mains go, all options are prepared either in the charcoal-burning oven or over a wood-fired grill. Seafood from the oven may be blue shrimp with green mango, apple, daikon, and charred almonds or rock cod with roasted fennel. Over the grill, Stone is serving up cuts of meat such as a New York strip and a cowboy ribeye for two. To finish off your meal, the three desserts are all lightweight sweets: a panna cotta, a semifreddo, and a pineapple tarte tatin.

While you’ll taste the charcoal and wood flavors in your food, you’ll also be able to see the cooking process in action, as the Tara Bernerd–designed circular dining room affords views of the open kitchen. Contrast that with the ocean-blue sea that beckons through the floor-to-ceiling windows. It’s unparalleled views both inside and out—with food to match.

Click here to see all the images of Woodend.

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