We’ve waited long enough for the fourth annual Punta Mita Gourmet & Golf Classic to get here. And now, we don’t have to wait anymore. From April 3 to 6, The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort and Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, which sit on the shores of Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit, will host guests for a weekend filled with savory food from more than 14 chefs, including Claudia Fossa from Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills (A Four Seasons Hotel), in addition to providing some one-on-one time with Mexican former professional golfer Lorena Ochoa on the resort’s two Jack Nicklaus-designed championship courses, Pacifico and Bahia.
Imagine four days of 80-degree temps, sandy beaches, mixing and mingling with sommeliers over four-course meals, and honoring Ochoa, who held the LPGA’s No. 1 ranking during her last three years on the tour. Whether you’re a foodie, wine connoisseur, golf guru or all of the above, you’re sure to have a memorable experience from sunrise to sunset.
In preparation for the event, we chatted with Ochoa, The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort’s executive chef Sylvain Desbois and Fossa about everything from how attending the Gourmet & Golf classic helps The Lorena Ochoa Golf Foundation to which unique dishes you should expect.
LORENA OCHOA TALKS GOLF
Why is it important for you to be a part of the Punta Mita Gourmet & Golf Classic?
First and foremost, I am a big fan of Punta Mita and all that the destination offers, including its two wonderful Jack Nicklaus-designed courses. Secondly, and also very important is that Carl Emberson, the general manager of The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, and the entire Punta Mita community have been very supportive of my foundation, The Lorena Ochoa Golf Foundation. The Punta Mita Gourmet & Golf Classic raised more than $55,000 for the foundation last year.
Which golf course at The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort is your favorite?
I am a fan of the Pacifico course with its signature Tail of the Whale par 3 and numerous oceanfront holes, all with beautiful greens. That being said, both courses are unique and impeccably kept.
Will you give a golf clinic to Punta Mita Gourmet & Golf members this year?
Yes indeed, and I continue to enjoy sharing what I have learned over the years with people around the world.
What’s your best golf advice that both an experienced player and a newbie can use?
Make sure you spend some time in the practice range to improve. If you don’t have the time, then just go out there and learn to enjoy it, even if you don’t play great. The key is to spend quality time with friends and family, and it’s more important to enjoy every step of the way. That’s why you should come to Punta Mita — it is the best.
What types of dishes are you looking forward to eating while you’re there?
Last year, I had a memorable lunch by Thierry Blouet from Café des Artistes in Puerto Vallarta at The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort’s Carolina restaurant. Like the holes on each course, the dishes are each unique, and I am sure I will enjoy the offerings from this year’s selection of world-class chefs. I am particularly looking forward to Top Chef Masters [season 3] winner chef Floyd Cardoz’s dinner in Carolina.
If you could pick just one thing to gush about when it comes to The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, what would it be?
I love spending time with my husband, Andrés [Conesa], and the kids in our beachfront suite at The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort. At sunset, we enjoy sitting by our private pool on the terrace with some freshly made guacamole and ceviche while watching the sun set on another day in this paradise that is Punta Mita.
IT’S ALL ABOUT LOCAL FARE FOR EXECUTIVE CHEF SYLVAIN DESBOIS
How will your dishes stand out at the G&Golf Classic more so than last year?
As the years go by, our main focus is on sourcing local ingredients from the land and sea. We asked our guest chefs this year to focus on local produce and adapt their dishes with that in mind — so the dishes will stand out as a result of that focus and local suppliers will also benefit.
Which dishes do you plan on preparing this time around?
I will be preparing a lobster salad that features lobster poached in achiote chili, served with a mousseline of black beans with vanilla from Papantla, spicy mango coulis and avocado dressing. We worked this plate around Mexican products with Mexican flavor presented in a unique manner.
Which unique desserts can guests expect to try?
Guests can expect different desserts, as the guest chefs are coming from different countries, so it will be a nice melting pot. For example, for our “France salutes Mexico” lunch, our pastry chef [Mickael Fournier] will be serving a lime and Papantla vanilla cheesecake with red fruits, coconut, mint and Dulcey [from Valrhona] chocolate. But it will be presented in an original way, not as you would expect a traditional cheesecake.
CHEF CLAUDIA FOSSA PUTS A PERUVIAN TWIST ON THINGS
Which dishes do you plan on preparing for the G&G Classic?
All of the dishes are Peruvian with a modern twist. When I was preparing the menu, I was thinking about dishes that are easy to eat on a beautiful sunny day in front of the beach. So for lunch, we will start with a degustation of causitas, which is a very traditional appetizer back home, based on a potato croquette and different seafood on top. Next will be a fish tiradito with a Peruvian aji chili emulsion and crispy quinoa. Then for the main course: mahi mahi with a cilantro and peanut purée, and a solterito limeño salad, which is made of fava beans, corn and tomato. For the sweet tooth, I will make my favorite dessert from when I was 15 years old, which is lucuma bruselina — thin layers of cinnamon cookie, filled with dulce de leche, lucuma and chocolate.
Which item do you think will be the most popular with guests?
I think the tiradito will be one of the most popular dishes. Tiradito is a different kind of ceviche, and ceviche is one of the most recognizable Peruvian dishes. The fish is sliced very thin and then marinated. It’s a very refreshing appetizer for lunch on the beach. We will also serve lomo saltado wonton ravioli with huancaína sauce and it will also be a hit. It is a perfect cocktail snack with an explosion of flavors.
Photo Courtesy of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc.