Originally from Uruguay Juan Manuel Castiglioni has cooked on all five continents

Originally from Uruguay, 29-year-old Castiglioni has cooked on all five continents, countries including nearby Guatemala to exotic destinations such as New Zealand, Vietnam and Marrakech. He’s been with Ginger Garden Lounge since its inception in August 2010, and some of the dishes included in Ginger Garden Lounge's menu are his own creation like the crispy Poppy Seed Tuna with coconut-ginger sauce, which was featured in the Spring/Fall 2012 Issue of Vallarta Lifestyles.
When we asked chef Juan Manuel Castiglioni why he chose to showcase this particular dish, he didn’t hesitate to proudly reply, “Because you won’t find it anywhere else. It is my own creation!” Honey is brushed over the fresh tuna to cover it with poppy seed prior to cooking. This sweet combination is complemented by a generous serving of creamy coconut-ginger sauce, allowing patrons to sweeten the dish to their own liking. The sauce is equally delicious spread over the side of jasmine rice with light and black sesame seeds.
Both light and healthy (particularly for those watching carb intake), this unique dish is one of the Nuevo Vallarta restaurant’s most popular dishes. Its creative combination of flavors and textures can be enjoyed equally at lunch or dinner.
Ginger Garden Lounge features a variety of sake-based martinis, saketinis, as they call them. Chef Castiglioni suggests pairing this dish with their Litchi Saketini. “The cocktail is fresh, like the entree, but with a hint of acidity, which complements the sweetness of the coconut-ginger sauce rather nicely.”