Since the opening of Garza Blanca Resort & Spa in 2009, Blanca Blue Restaurant and Lounge has become one of the premier restaurants in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Today the restaurant is excited to welcome Chef Mario Castro and his visionary new Mexican avant-garde menu to contribute to the ever-evolving culinary delights of this fine dining restaurant.
Prior to Chef Mario’s arrival, Blanca Blue Restaurant focused on serving gourmet world cuisine with a particular focus on Mediterranean flavors. The new menu will be showcasing Mexican avant-garde cuisine, enriching Puerto Vallarta’s acclaimed dining scene with a new culinary concept. “I am really excited about this menu,” says the Mexican born Chef Mario, who has been living in the USA since he was 10 years old, “diners will find all those wonderful elements they love about Mexican food turned into inspiring works of art.”
In recent years, the traditions and unique flavors of Mexican Cuisine have received recognition by UNESCO and are now protected as part of the world’s intangible heritage. Therefore, it seems most fitting for Blanca Blue to pay homage to both Mexico’s traditional cooking methods and flavors while incorporating cutting-edge technology and contemporary trends.
“We will be integrating traditional ingredients and culinary customs from Mexico’s villages and towns, applying new, cutting-edge techniques to create flavorsome dishes for modern taste buds,” enthuses Chef Mario. “For example, we will be using some molecular techniques like foams, airs etc, yet remain faithful to Mexican flavors, or use ancient culinary techniques with more modern ingredients.”
This inspiring four-course menu is sure to leave diners at Blanca Blue both fully satisfied and suitably amazed with dishes like its Stone Soup, a Gift from Oaxaca and Ember Lambs Ribs as mouthwatering options.
“The stone soup is a fascinating dish that is based on a ritualistic delicacy from Oaxaca where fish is cooked by placing red hot stones in a large pit filled with water. Blanca Blue’s version will see a freshwater shrimp in crab and red snapper broth cooked under a burning hot pebble right in front of your eyes,” Chef Mario tell us, “while the gift from Oaxaca is a delicacy wrapped in maguey leaves and the ember lamb ribs will arrive to your plate smouldering with flavor.”
Chef Mario Castro brings with him an impressive curriculum for one so young: he worked as an intern at the world famous El Bulli restaurant in Spain for six months, was a sous chef at the Waldorf Astoria in Florida and has participated in a number of gourmet festivals of international renown. Most recently, however, he worked at the SLS resort on South Beach, Miami under 3 Star Michelin chef, José Andrés.
One of Chef Mario’s greatest inspirations for his menu for Blanca Blue was the father of molecular and deconstructive gastronomy, Ferran Adrià, seeking to create his own medley of flavors and textures that provide guests with that wow effect while dining. “I feel that the reason I am back here in Mexico, working with Tafer Hotels & Resorts is no coincidence,” he says, “I feel there is room with Tafer for experimentation, the freedom to create and be an authentic chef.”
Chef Mario’s commitment to food, innovation and artistry is one of the biggest factors in his success, investing in new equipment, culinary experiences and skills to ensure that he is always at the top of his game, “To be a good chef, you have to be totally committed. For me, the only thing that exists is myself and food. Nothing else matters.”