Born in Mexico City and a graduate of the capital’s Ambrosia Culinary Center, Chef Carlos Zamora Larios has 15 years of experience with leading hotels and restaurants in Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Veracruz and San Miguel de Allende. And now, Chef Carlos Zamora Larios has been appointed as executive chef at the Viceroy Riviera Maya with responsibility for all of the resort’s restaurants, bars and catering. He comes to Viceroy Riviera Maya from Hotel Matilda in San Miguel where he was Chef de Cuisine of Moxi, the acclaimed restaurant operated by Mexican superstar chef Enrique Olvera.
Now at the Viceory Riviera Maya, Zamora is responsible for the resort’s signature restaurant, La Marea; the seaside Coral Grill + Bar; the resort’s specialty themed weekly dinners including the Antojería of Mexican street foods and the Beach Barbacoa; and weddings and banquets.
Zamora was kind enough to take the time out to answer a few questions for us about his exciting new role!
Congratulations! What do you look forward to the most about your new appointment at Viceroy Riviera Maya?
Thank you; is really important for me to be in this great Viceroy family. I look to bring a new experience to our guests with simple and delicious food; and to share with them plates and preparations that are holiday dishes in different regions of México with clean presentations.
What are some of the benefits and challenges of working as part of hotels and resorts?
The benefits are to be part of a large family that is aware of guest satisfaction And the challenge is to bring guests unexpected flavors that are part of our Mexican culture
Where do you draw inspiration from for your menus? What inspires your cooking?
In houses markets and in street food, I think that in order to get to know a civilization, it is necessary to eat in the street and the dishes that the grandmothers prepare for holidays.
How did you get into cooking? What was the first meal you ever cooked?
I started at 17 as dishwasher in Mexico City and after I discovered this cuisine lifestyle I decided to study it and dedicate myself fully to this.
My mother used to prepare cakes for the whole family and I remember that I always had to see and help her the whole process since I was a child I find it comforting to spend hours in the kitchen to see the guests smile
What are some of your favorite dishes and why?
The tacos, tacos are the reflection of the Mexican society in any region. They are simple and can have any filling according to the seasonality or the budget that counts also as Mexican is one of the first preparations you ever eat, you can find yourself waiting in line for the tortillas eating the salt taco.
What is something that people absolutely must-try at Viceroy Riviera Maya?
Is hard to name a few. The red guajillo chili ceviche, pork belly and mole verde, rack of lamb with almond mole, ceviche marea, chocolate tamal, the bbq experience by the beach, sweet Mexican bread in breakfast.
Images courtesy of the Viceroy Riviera Maya.