Cooking At The El Dorado Royale In Mexico

By Executive Chef Justin Wangler 
In: News

Hello from Mexico! Right now I’m surrounded by white sand beaches, the ocean, and the wonderful culture and cuisine of Mexico.

I’m here with Kendall-Jackson winemaster Randy Ullom at the El Dorado Royale, a Spa resort by Karisma, to officially kick-off our Culinary Series. Since I arrived earlier in the week, I’ve been waking up to the sound of surf on the beach before heading to the local market to see what ingredients look fresh and inspiring.

So what else have we been up to? Yesterday we headed to the beach for our Sips in the Sand class. Randy taught guests some of the best techniques to pair wine and food.  While he was doing that I preparing a few simple bites, including Lobster and Flank steak with tomatoes and herbs, and these Pinot Noir & Verjus Sangria Smoothies. Afterwards, I was happy to hand out the recipes for everyone to take home.

One of my favorite parts of the trip so far has been getting the opportunity to work so closely with Randy. He has a real passion for food and it is refreshing to get a different perspective on how food and wine pair together. He has a real expertise for these pairings.

This morning, after my trip to the local market and a quick dip in the ocean — to help me with menu planning, of course — Randy and I met to talk about tonight’s Winemaster Dinner. This five-course meal showcases our great wines along with some really fantastic food.

I’ll be cooking the meal in the El Dorado Royale’s culinary theater while the diners watch me prep, before we all head to the dining room to enjoy the meal. After leaving the dining room tonight, it is back to the cabana or spa to relax before heading off to bed.

It’ll be hard for me to wrap up this trip. Being on the beach and surrounded by the culture and energy in Mexico has really inspired my cooking for the past few days. But, I’m glad to know that we’ll be working with Karisma throughout the year. We’ll be sending more chefs and winemakers to the El Dorado Royale throughout the course of the year, creating fantastic new wine and food pairings as we go.

If you’re interested in meeting one of our chefs or winemakers, check out the Jackson Family Wines Culinary Series, by Karisma to learn more.