Best All Inclusive Foodie Vacation in Riviera Maya

5 Nights of Canadian Beef Heaven

If you are fortunate enough to discover one of those truly amazing foodie vacations, then you know what to expect when you visit Karisma Hotels & Resorts. They have replaced the buffet line seen at most all-inclusive resorts with their signature Gourmet Inclusive experience. Plus, the second week of every month throughout the year you can attend their Canadian Beef Culinary Series. This gourmet event will send your taste buds on an epic gourmet journey.

Surrounded by crystal clear waters and lush palm trees, you will be taken on a gourmet ride each day with events including a Kick-off Beach Barbeque, Beef Sampling & Wine Pairing, Cutting Demo & Cooking Class, and Tricks of the Trade & Tasting. Each nigh Canada's top chefs' will showcase their favorite beef cuts and notable sommeliers will deliver insight into wine pairing.

Beef Skirt Steak at Karisma Hotels & Resorts

The Canadian Beef Culinary Series by Karisma Hotels & Resorts

El Dorado Royale by Karisma's Canadian Beef Culinary Series will indulge your every taste bud with the savory creations of Canada's top chefs. You will have the pleasure of attending this gastronomical journey if you travel here during one of their bi-weekly events . It is also backed by Karisma Hotel's Gourmet Inclusive Experience and by their many awards received by notable critics. This event brings together Canada's top culinary talent and the very best cuts of prime beef. An added bonus for us was witnessing the culinary masterpieces of Chef Louis Charest, hailing from Ottawa Canada.

Canadian Beef Culinary Series By Karisma Hotels

A Gourmet Inclusive Holiday

The high end dining available at every meal solidifies why we believe El Dorado Royale Riviera Maya is the best foodie vacation in the Caribbean. If you're like me, then you love to eat great food while on vacation. This is why all you read about in reviews is how good or bad the food was. Many vacationers choose their accommodations based on food reviews alone. Dining should be a major part of every traveler's holiday. Let's face it. Eating crappy food sucks!

Butler at the Karisma Hotels delivering a gourmet meal

So, when you decide to visit the El Dorado Royale by Karisma, which has an excellent reputation for their signature Gourmet Inclusive concept, get ready for a real epicurean treat. This resort elevates the typical all-inclusive dining options to that of the world's finest restaurants.. a big statement that we confirmed for ourselves.

gourmet beef tenderloin

Diving a little deeper into our research, we discovered that Karisma Hotels features Michelin-trained chefs. To hold this distinguished title each chef must have attended a world class culinary arts school. Their chefs have also graduated from Le Cordon Bleu's specific dietary needs program, which provides training on professional management of gluten-free dishes and diabetic safe meals. So, it was no big surprise that Karisma's collection of gourmet resorts has received numerous awards, most noteworthy, Wine Spectator's "Award of Excellence" as well as Travel + Leisure Mexico's Gourmet Award for "Best Tasting Menu". Another testament to the fact that we chose an incredible resort for our foodie vacation.

The combination of well-trained servers, award winning chefs, and wine master sommeliers paired with the elaborately decorated restaurants delivers a fully interactive dining experience.

Monday Night Kick-Off Beach BBQ at the Tucanes Beach Gazebo

Gorgeous nights with star studded skis and warm tropical breezes. Does it get better.. yes! Upon arrival of your Kick-off Beach BBQ, a hostess will lead you to the wine selection table. There, a professional sommelier will be waiting to take your wine order. This is done by inquiring what is your personal tastes, preferences, and which types of BBQ dishes will you be trying. Porter House, Prime Rib, Top Sirloin, Tri-Tip, New York Strip? Our sommelier ended up recommending a full bodied Cabernet Sauvignon, which was very flavorful, bold, and paired perfectly with the full selection of beef we tried.

steak grilling on open flame

Look for the large charcoal grills. That's where you will find the grill masters. Say yes if he asks "A bit of everything?". Next thing you know is your plate will be filled with every cut of beef you could think of. Each will be cooked to perfection. Medium rare and a well-seasoned crusted bark. Mmmm!

The Wine Connoisseur

Wine and beef go together like Fred and Ginger. They're great alone but coupled is a delight. That's why Karisma decided to bring together Canadian Beef with Jackson Family Wines. The Jackson Family Wines portfolio represents more than 30 labels of super-premium and luxurious wines.

Tuesday Night Beef Sampling & Wine Pairing at the Tucanes El Dorado Royale

The Beef Sampling & Wine Pairing events are hosted by one of Canada's best chefs and by a Jackson Family Wine sommeliers. They will deliver a personalized tutorial on pairing the right wine with the right cut of beef.

A great paring example is beef carpaccio with lemon vinaigrette and sesame crisp balanced with a full-bodied Cabernet. Take a bite of the beef and then a sip of your wine. The exquisite tasting carpaccio followed by the gripping qualities of a full-bodied Cabernet enhance the wine's subtle fruit flavours and the high degree of marbling of the beef. A delicate combination. You will continue to expand your knowledge of how to pair top quality wines and superior cuts of beef. A great asset for entertaining at home.

Beef Carpaccio gourmet dinner in Riviera Maya Mexico

Canada's Top Chef Louis Charest

I have to mention how fortunate we were to have Chef Louis Charest to be our host for the Canadian Beef Culinary Series. He is the executive chef and partner at Rosie's Southern Kitchen and Raw Bar in Ottawa, two of Canada's most prestigious restaurants.

Chef Louis Charest at the Canadian Beef Culinary series Karisma Hotels

He is known to execute meals of the highest possible standards for the Governor General of Canada, the vice regal family, and heads of state at the Rideau Hall and La Citadelle. Two of Canada's heritage sites steeped in history.

This chef reinforces Canada's great culinary reputation when serving government officials and dignitaries from around the world. He was a pleasure to watch, learn from, and of course, tasting his epicurean creations was something that left our palettes in sheer bliss.

Wednesday Night Cutting Demo & Cooking Class at the Tucanes El Dorado Royale

As you sit down at your table, your wine glass will be immediately filled with Merlot. The chef will then take centre stage and invite you into a world of the culinary arts. Our chef started by explaining how he doesn't do subtle. He only cooks using bold, powerful, "in-your-face" flavours, and by using only quality ingredients. He also gave a quick explanation of the produce and spices, as well as an overview on how Canadian beef is raised and processed. This will demonstrate how important it is to have quality ingredients when cooking.

You are then thrown into the magic of what these chefs do best. Watch as your chef pulls out a huge piece of Hanger Steak (which from his explanation has the beefiest taste of all the cuts) and proceeds to slice and dice this chunk of beef into small pieces ready to hit the grill. He won't stop there. You will learn how to take the raw product, whether it be Strip Loin, Rib Eye, Short Rib, Beef Shank, or any other cut of beef and to prep the meat so that it is ready to cook. In the end, from start to finish, you will be taken from the butcher block to the kitchen table as you learn how to prepare quality beef meals for you to savor upon your return home. You will become masters of the different cuts and preparation methods including braising, grilling, and roasting.

Where's the Beef?

Canadian Beef doesn't just mean beef that comes from Canada. Canadian Beef is actually Canada's premier beef company. They pride themselves on raising their cattle in the fresh air, clean water, and open land of Canada's mid-west.

Well Marbled Canadian Beef

Their superior cattle genetics provides an outstanding eating experience and is perfect for creating top grade prime beef. Plus, Canada is one of the largest grain producers in the world. High quality grains contribute to well-marbled, flavorful and tender meat which is highly desirable and recognized by consumers in over 100 countries around the world. Canadian Beef's AAA and Prime grades are your assurance that only the highest quality beef is being served to your table.

Thursday Night Canadian Beef & Jackson Family Wines Culinary Experience at the Fuentes Culinary Theatre El Dorado Royale

Have you ever watched a cooking show on TV and wished that you could taste the food when it was done cooking? At the Canadian Beef & Jackson Family Wines Culinary Experience Dinner Show you can!

Fuentes Culinay Theatre at the El Dorado Royale in Riviera Maya Mexico

Canada's top chef gather together for an unforgettable dinner show at the Fuentes Culinary Theatre. This dinner theatre boasts 5 open kitchens with large flat screen projectors under a 90-foot vaulted thatched roof where guests witness the chefs' cooking techniques up close and personal.

This interactive cooking lesson takes place in the El Dorado Royale's avant-garde entertainment-dining space. You don't miss a thing with the chef live in his open kitchen on the big screen T.V.'s. As soon as he starts the entire audience is wowed. You will have the opportunity to follow every slice of his knife, learn of his preferred fresh produce, and witness his professional cooking techniques.

Your mouths will quite literally start watering within minutes, but thankfully you don't have to wait long to be served. You will be utterly pampered with delightful creations. A new concept never before done at an all-inclusive resort. This one-of-a-kind culinary experience, hosted by one of Canada's best chefs and a very experienced sommelier will deliver both delicious food and great entertainment. You will be taken on a journey filled with exquisite aromas, colors, textures, and flavors. By far our favorite event of the Canadian Beef Culinary Series by Karisma.

Vacationing together with Canada's top chefs

The wine and food program will spotlight a noteworthy chef and the highest quality beef from Canada. You will be taken through a series of interactive epicurean adventures which leaves you captivated and fully immersed in a world of gourmet cooking. You are able to mingle with the chefs and sommeliers, which will lead to some great conversations of both cooking knowledge and general well-being.

Canada's Top Chefs on Vacation

We invite all culinary enthusiasts from around the world to escape for a week-long event to the El Dorado Royale A Spa Resort, El Dorado Casitas Royale, and Generations Riviera Maya by Karisma during one of their Canadian Beef & Jackson Family Wines Culinary Series which takes place every second week of each month throughout the entire year.

Friday Night Tricks of the Trade Dinner Class at the Tucanes El Dorado Royale

At the Tricks of the Trade Dinner Class you will be introduced to some really cool cooking techniques. These techniques will take your home cooking from great to extraordinary. You will also learn about the fundamentals quality beef; like how Canadian Beef is produced according to world-class quality and safety standards. And, how their cattle is raised and processed by trustworthy ranchers who are dedicated and respectful of their animals.

CANADIAN BEEF TENDERLOIN

Some tips that we already know is to take your beef out of the fridge at least half an hour before cooking. This allows the meat to relax and warm up gently before cooking. And, to let the beef rest for 10 minutes after removing it from the heat. This will allow all the juices that ran away from the heat during cooking to come back out as the meat relaxes. Obviously, this makes for a juicier, more tender, and flavorful meat. However, some great tips not widely known is to cook your beef is on the grill over live charcoal flames and to cut through membranes by piercing your meat. Also, injecting your beef with marinade before cooking. This ensures a much softer and flavorful end-product.

grilling steaks on bbq

This event is the most informative and let's not forget, delicious! These Chefs will dazzle your taste buds with exciting conceptions. One to remember is the Top Sirloin Burger with smoked gouda-cheese, deep fried leeks and blackberry compote. Wow!

Upcoming & Past Events:

  • January 13-17: Chef Louis Charest of Ottawa
  • February 9-13: Chef Jonathan Gushue of Toronto
  • March 9-13: Chef Todd Perrin of Newfoundland
  • April 13-17: Chef Rene Rodriguez of Ottawa
  • May 11-15: Chef Dave Bohati of Calgary
  • June 8-12: Chef Hayden Johnston of Toronto
  • July 13-17: Chef Eric Palamino of Toronto
  • August 10-14: Chef Brook Kavanaugh of Toronto
  • September 14-18: Chef Jonathan Goodyear of Toronto
  • October 12-16: Chef Danny Smiles of Montreal
  • November 9-13: Chef Paul Rogalski of Calgary
  • December 14-18: Special Guest Chef

My Final Thoughts…

Amateurs and experts alike will enjoy learning about everything from butchery techniques and selection of the leanest cuts of meat to slow cooking methods and favorite recipes. This hands-on epicurean experience will intrigue all the true foodies out there. Showcasing renowned chefs who create elaborate meals will send you on a gourmet adventure.

Chef Louis Charest preparing his Beef for the Canadian Beef Culinary Series

The Canadian Beef & Jackson Family Wines Culinary Series provides an excellent holiday. I strongly recommend this event for all the true foodies and beef lovers out there. Not only will you be thrown into a world of "haute cuisine", you will also leave with an extensive knowledge of professional cooking techniques, all the while enjoying the beautiful settings of Mexico's Riviera Maya. Plus, you will be pampered by Karisma's ultra-luxurious accommodations and a high level of service which is a whole other story in its self. for more about that read: Best family experience in Riviera Maya.

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