Mango Season is in full bloom right now in Belize, so we’re giving you the recipe for one of our favorite Ka’ana cocktails: the Mango-Jalapeño Margarita! Have a little taste of Belize at home!
Archive for the ‘Dining’ Category
Every culture has their own unusual ‘delicacies’ and Belizeans are no exception. Maybe due to the mix of cultures that settled here; the escaped Africans slaves as well as the German Mennonites, Maya (and more) over the years who brought their own customs and traditions. Mash that into one melting pot and you have a plethora of bizarre!
1. Meet the Gibnut or Paca, also affectionately known as the Royal Rat (since served to Queen Elizabeth II on her Belize visit some years ago). Many Belizeans will tell you its a must-try delicacy. Check out Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern gibnut feast here.
Armando Cocom is an up-and-coming young chef in our kitchen. A local “boy” from the nearby Maya village of Succotz, only a couple miles down the road – he has been with Ka’ana almost from the onset. I caught up with him as he was preparing one of the new in-house specials and asked him a bit about what makes him tick.
How long have you been here at Ka’ana and how did you come about to your current position?
Well, I started out as a dishwasher when Ka’ana just opened in 2007, left for a short while, then returned and have been here ever since. To tell the truth I was just a regular kid that lived to play football in my village, I never really thought about what I wanted to do in life, but I realized I was growing up and had to find a job; this was actually my first job.
So how did you come about cooking?
Well, being here for a bit, I started observing what was going on around me – I noticed the other chefs and the preparation going on and I thought it was like “art” to see the food plated the way it was using all the ingredients grown right here in our organic garden – something that is not common at other resorts. Hearing the feedback from our guests was also very exciting and inspirational to me, so I started paying more attention. Pretty soon I was assisting and getting more involved.
What’s the most exciting part about your job?
The most exciting part about my job, honestly, (smiling shyly) is that I love what I do 101%! I never knew that I would find my life’s calling; I love being in the kitchen and being creative even when I am learning a new skill or technique. I am constantly training and learning – these days with Chef Jeff and its really great to work with him.
Is there anything that you personally helped to create that’s on our menu?
Actually I helped to come up with the concept of the layered tortillas recipe that I know is a crowd favorite.
Any advice to others who would like to follow in your footsteps?
Well of course, I would tell that if they find out that they really like to do what I do then to show their interest and go the extra mile to learn for themselves and train whenever possible and not to let anyone distract them from their dream. A special thanks to my bosses for taking an interest in this “village boy” and giving him an opportunity to excel!
In Belize we grow up on sweet corn and here at Ka’ana we absolutely LOVE it. You can find it as a gelato and in some of our cocktails (Who doesn’t love Ka’ana’s signature Sweet Corn Colada?). Some people even add it to our fish tacos.
Corn is grown successfully in Belize, with the Cayo, Toledo and some parts of the Orange Walk District being particularly successful. It’s sweet, it’s crunchy and definitely satisfying. The best part is that you can get it from anywhere – from street vendors or fine restaurants – in a variety of preparations.
As kids we grew up eating “sugar-corn” ice-cream and popsicles. You can also get rich and creamy atole – hot or chilled. Here in Belize we love sweet corn smothered in butter or lime and chile – even dipped in cream and sprinkled with cheese!
The Mayas adored it, today’s new generations still love it and you too can get your sweet corn fix whenever you visit us!
Get the very Best of Belize: Reef and Jungle, see the best way to do luxury in Belize here: http://tinyurl.com/6vf465j
Know what you are doing for Valentine’s? We are hosting a special night with a menu to match and a side of live jazz with Tricia Gabourel. RSVP here: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 824-3350
We’re so very proud of our little garden in bloom right now. We are even more proud to be able to show you where many of the ingredients for your meals come from – all fresh, all organic. We are currently harvesting potatoes and carrots and giant tomatoes, sweet peppers and arugula. Broccoli and cauliflower will be ready pretty soon. Your visit to Ka’ana is not complete until you check out our garden.
1. Visit one of our many Ancient Maya Ruins
2. Check out our #1 adventure excursion – ATM
3. Take a cocktail class with us
4. Swim in our salt water pool (or better yet your own plunge pool)
5. Shower in your private back garden
6. Take a yoga class on our yoga deck
7. Check out the local market & get a feel for the people
8. Try our garden to table restaurant
9. Dine by the Fire Pit
10. Overnight on a Maya Ruin