Beauty Detox Week at the Esperanza Resort in Mexico (with some cacao tips!)
If you follow me on Twitter and Instagram, then you already know that I had an incredibly inspiring week of teaching, learning and fun at the Esperanza Resort in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Here I am, eating my Raw Vegan Caesar Salad recipe, which was on the menu there!
The resort is stunning. It is set right on the ocean, with big waves crashing over the rocks. At night the whole place is lit up with soft, beautiful lights. But more than just a beautiful place to hang out, it is a very open-minded place where you can eat healthily and actually improve your health while relaxing your mind…
They flew me in to do a special Beauty Detox menu, and to teach some classes to the staff and the guests. Every day, I also worked with the chefs, especially Executive Pastry Chef Guillermo (“Memo”), pictured above! We adapted my Miracle, Gluten-free Pizza Dough into smaller found flatbreads to be served as a gluten-free option on the tables, with 3 different herb variations, and worked on different forms of gluten-free, vegan, soy-free, agave-free baking!
Here’s what the promo for the Beauty Detox 4 course dinner looked like. :) It was actually 5 courses if you count our amuse bouche!
It was a real honor to see my recipes served at such a fine dining establishment (!).
This is Executive Chef Gonzo. He is an incredibly talented chef, but one of the most special things about him is that he is open to new ideas. For some chefs, the idea of creating entrees and whole meals without any meat, dairy, eggs, gluten or soy might seem absurd. But he was very open to the information and meals that I presented. We went shopping to some of the stores there so I could point out some great options available to him.
An excess of animal products in the diet is too heavy and aging (possibly causing early menopause), and dairy was never intended in nature to be consumed by humans! These are truths that become apparent when you look to our biological structure and anatomy.
Every morning I would do some yoga and head to the beach for a bit to put my feet in the sand and get inspired from the earth before heading into the kitchen.
Chef Memo and I had so much fun playing with gluten-free, vegan baking!
The setting at Esperanza, which contains the combination of the rocky coast and crystal-clear ocean, the earth and the sun was incredibly inspirational. Every day I could feel every cell in my body being nourished from the earth.
Here I am with General Manager Marc Rodriguez, as he is showing me one of the Esperanza herb gardens. This is where we sourced herbs from for our gluten-free flatbreads, and the kitchen uses all these fresh herbs all the time.
He is a real visionary. It was his idea to start introducing healthier options on the menu, including vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. If only every hotelier in the world could be so forward-thinking!
Here I am with all the wait staff giving them a briefing on the Beauty Detox dinner and how to explain it and talk about the items to diners.
Plating masters! Including Chef Tulio and Chef Caesar. My Gluten-free, Vegan Lasagna recipe.
Portobello Mushroom Burgers on Lettuce Cups with Spicy Baked Sweet Potato Fries.
The whole team!! I love them all, such an amazing group of people. Very open-minded and talented and hardworking, and all around wonderful !! Meeting and working with everyone was the highlight of the trip for me. :)
Below is one of the several pools there, Cocina del Mar to the left (it goes much further out into the ocean over those rocks), and the Lounge restaurant to the right. Fantastic!!
Here’s me teaching a cooking demo/class for guests at Esperanza…
As well as a nutrition class to the kitchen staff. Again, they were so open to learning about nutrition. They want to be healthy for themselves and their families. Like the U.S, obesity and diabetes is a major problem in Mexico. Some of the ideas were very new (what? no queso??), but they listened and asked a lot of questions, and I believe will they will incorporate more healthy choices into their lives.
On the amazing porch of my cassita, getting a little flying time in. My porch also had a jacuzzi overlooking the ocean. Not too shabby :).
Ah, inspiring locale!
Here we are at a welcome reception for owners at Esperanza! It has a hotel and fractional ownership packages.
Miracle, Gluten-free Pizza Dough served up as flatbreads on the table for guests!
Being near the ocean and rocks made me want to just move! Felt so healing for my mind, body and soul.
We love chocolate! Chef Memo and I played with chocolate truffles and some baking…
Yay, it baked and works!!
Here’s what Chef Memo taught me about making truffles:
You have to heat water in a pan beneath the bowl of chocolate. Do not heat the chocolate itself.
You can use organic dark chocolate bars, we used 80% cacao bars. Keep stirring and don’t let it overheat or burn.
Once it’s all heated, you can cut it with some warm water, and use a whisk to stir well. The water helps to make it more diluted and spreadable. We didn’t measure, but it was probably about a cup for what we melted.
We spread the truffle mixture over plastic into these rounds and stuck in the fridge, which solidifies it but keeps it pliable, as we used as a topping and middle part of our gluten-free, vegan chocolate cake.
If you don’t mix water into the choclate, the truffle mixture doesn’t dry as quickly, and you can make a cone shape out of thick, wax paper, cut the end off, and use as piping to make shapes and draw with the melted chocolate!
Here you can see how you can top and decorate with the truffle mixture.
We would make Glowing Green Smoothie and leave in the kitchen for the chefs to drink (below). It doesn’t last long!
I had the most incredible, refreshing, inspiring, heart-warming trip to Esperanza. My heart grew, and I am in awe of the love and openness of all the staff I met.
If you are looking for an amazing vacation near the sea, where you can ALSO get the Glowing Green Smoothie, gluten-free options and perhaps some of these Beauty Detox menu items, check out Esperanza!! This is one place I truly believe in with all my heart. I know I will be back as soon as I can get there. :)