Ask a room full of people what they think a vacation at a Caribbean luxury resort might be like, and you’d probably hear comments about lying under a palapa all day with waiters bringing endless glasses of Champagne, or having a personal genie who caters to their every wish.
How about consulting a pillow menu for the just-right cloud to rest your head on as you slip into your rose petal-strewn bed? He might mingle with the aromas of the cigar lounge, she might watch her diamonds refract in the sun over the pool with a swim-up refreshment bar.
One thing no one would likely say is that they’d expect an unforgettable gourmet experience.
Iberostar’s Grand Hotel Bavaro in easily reached Punta Cana, Dominican Republic is a white-glove, 5-star resort that offers all of the above, but it has done something to make it a little different. It has become a gastronomic destination.
At the Grand Bavaro, as well as at Iberostar’s dozens of luxury resorts sprinkled throughout Mexico and Latin America, the family-owned company wanted to showcase its Spanish history and sensibility. What better way to emphasize these two ingredients? Write up a menu!
The menu from Chef Jordi Cruz. Photo by Rowann Gilman | THE NIBBLE.
When you’re not focused on gourmet dining, there are beautiful grounds and a sparkling blue ocean. Photo courtesy Iberostar.
Iberostar’s Chefs on Tour program lets gastronomes enjoy special menus created and prepared by a roster of multi-Michelin starred chefs from Spain throughout the year.
These world-class dining occasions with exquisite Spanish wine pairings use local ingredients and visiting chefs’ own techniques.
A recent seven-course dinner put the spotlight on Jordi Cruz who, at age 37, is the world’s youngest 4-Michelin-star chef.
A bit of a maverick, Barcelona-born Chef Cruz took up some formal culinary training but quickly realized that the best way to learn was to do.
And so he did, in some of Spain’s most highly praised restaurants, working with chefs such as Ferran Adrià and Martín Berasategui.
The charismatic Cruz has won more than four major awards in his young career, and from what I tasted, all were well-deserved.