ELLE (Canada) - - Escape -

“It tastes like Donna Karan per­fume,” says Xavier Pérez Stone, as he ex­plains the depth of flavour of a lo­cal Yu­catán lime. As I bite into one, I im­me­di­ately get what he means— there is an ap­peal­ing flo­ral essence to the fruit. Pérez Stone is the found­ing chef of Cocina de Au­tor, Grand Ve­las Riviera Maya’s sig­na­ture restau­rant, which is con­sis­tently listed as one of Mex­ico’s top 100. Now a chef-con­sul­tant for the re­sort, he has handed over the day-to-day oper­a­tions to chef Nahum Ve­lasco, who char­ac­ter­izes their sig­na­ture tast­ing menus—think shrimp with pollen, sweet corn and honey, and chocolate with mush­rooms and sherry vine­gar—as cre­ative Mex­i­can cui­sine with a global in­flu­ence. The duo’s goal is to cre­ate food that makes peo­ple happy. “Grow­ing up, I knew my mother was happy when she cooked a pip­ián sauce,” says Ve­lasco. “Chef Xavi and I want to serve you a lit­tle bit of our hap­pi­ness too.”

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