Daiquiri Dick’s received quite an honor when its talented culinary team, headed by executive chef Rafael Nazario, was recently invited to serve a meal at the home of American gastronomy, New York City’s renowned James Beard House.
To food what Carnegie Hall is to music, top chefs like Wolfgang Puck and Emeril Lagasse have also been invited to work their magic at the Greenwich Village home of the man considered the father of American cuisine. The prolific author of more than 20 books about food, he taught cooking for several decades and hosted many a fabulous dinner here. And when he died in 1985, another cooking legend, Julia Child, suggested it would befit his culinary legacy to maintain his residence as the United States’ most prestigious venue for gourmet meals prepared to the highest standards.
Daiquiri Dick’s is the first restaurant in Puerto Vallarta to be showcased here, and the meal was a great success. Recognizing that it is events such as this that promote Mexico, and specifically Vallarta as a destination, Aeromexico provided free transportation.
Tantalizing a sold-out crowd with A Taste of Vallarta – a five-course dinner highlighting the fabulous global-fusion cuisine Daiquiri Dick’s is known for and that we get to enjoy whenever we want at this casually sophisticated beachfront spot – Nazario was assisted by chefs Ignacio Uribe Moreno and Hnoi Latthitham, Hugo Mejia Cortes, Mario Sotero Vega, Filemon Martinez Hernandez and Ezequiel Ramos Castillon, several of whom had never before been in the Big Apple, or anywhere in the States for that matter. So it was pretty exciting for them to check out the skyscrapers, hail cabs and ride the subway, shop, have a Chinese dinner in Chinatown and eat at Manhattan food stands, as well as prepare a meal in the huge kitchen of the W Hotel. While Daiquiri Dick’s has done lots of catering, cooking for a hundred people in a foreign city was a whole new experience, the team quickly getting into the flow of things and having a blast.
Margaritas and fruit daiquiris were served with the appetizers, which included grilled asparagus spears wrapped in Serrano ham, grilled tiger prawns with spicy yellow mole and garnachitas with roast Guinea fowl, followed by Veracruz-style summer soup with lemon and tortilla strips, lobster tacos with asparagus, hollandaise roast duck with hibiscus essence and cranberry marmalade, grilled lamb chops over pan-finished pozole served with mixiote sauce and vanilla bean flan in almond tuille cup – all complemented by fine wines donated by Mexico’s Chateau Camou and the Bonny Doon and Eyrie vineyards in the USA.
“We salute Chef Nazario for bringing a new level of excellence and acclaim to Mexican cuisine,” says Mildred Amico, program director for the James Beard Foundation. “His demonstrated innovation and dedication exemplifies the James Beard Foundation’s standards of excellence.”