Spring 2013 Series Kicks Off with East and West Coast

The series will bring renowned chefs and bar professionals from around the United States and Mexico to showcase international culinary talent and highlight the locally influenced cuisine of the Mayan town of Tulum.

The series will start in March with Chef Mike Isabella, chef/owner of Graffiato and the upcoming Kapnos and G in Washington, DC. Alicia Jenish, executive chef of The Grand Cafe in San Francisco will guest chef in May. In July, Chef Telmo Faria with beverage director Mike Barrow and owner Joe Hargrave from Tacolicious in the Bay Area will prepare meals with Chef Donnie Masterton of The Restaurant in San Miguel de Allende. Details on summer and fall chefs will be announced later this year. Upcoming participants will include Chef Adam Duyle of The Abbot’s Cellar and The Monk’s Kettle in November, Chef Victor Albisu from the upcoming Taco Bamba in Falls Church, Va. and Del Campo in Washington, DC in January 2014, and Mixologist Scott Baird of the Bon Vivants in early 2014.

Series dates and details include:

Mike IsabellaMarch 20-23 : Chef Mike Isabella of Graffiato in Washington, DC. Chef Isabella plans on preparing specials with local Mayan and tropical ingredients available in Tulum, but through the lens of his Italian-American upbringing. Guests can expect inspirations from Isabella’s popular Washington restaurant, Graffiato, including fresh pastas, seafood specials based on catches of the day, and pizzas from Que Fresco’s wood-burning oven, built years ago by a visiting Italian chef.

Alicia JenishMay 4-8 : Chef Alicia Jenish of the Grand Cafe in San Francisco will infuse her brasserie style cooking with touches of Mexican and Caribbean cuisine. As ZAMAS sits on a coconut plantation, she’s excited to use coconut water to braise pork ribs, which she plans on serving with fresh turmeric, cilantro and ginger. The restaurant’s outdoor grill will be used for mussels, and local octopus will be braised for a flatbread finished off in the restaurant’s wood-burning oven. Chef Jenish will also lead a class on how to make a classic steak tartare.

Telmo FariaJuly 10-15 : Chef Telmo Faria, with beverage director Mike Barrow and owner Joe Hargrave from Tacolicious, an entrepreneurial venture that started as a humble taco stand at San Francisco’s famed Ferry Building, come to Zamas in July. The restaurant now boasts three locations in the Bay Area, and the duo will bring their love for Mexican cuisine and craft cocktails to Tulum. Chef Donnie Masterton of The Restaurant in San Miguel de Allende, a friend of Faria and Hargrave, will join Tacolicious for the series. Faria looks forward to using Que Fresco’s wood-burning oven to prepare pork ribs and skirt steak for tacos, and utilizing local ingredients like tamarindo, jicama, papaya, nopales and achiote. Masterton will prep some of his signature dishes from The Restaurant.

Upcoming participants include Chef Adam Duyle, from the Monk’s Kettle and The Abbot’s Cellar (recent semi-finalist from the James Beard Foundation for Outstanding Bar Program) in San Francisco, who will visit in November. Scott Baird, co-founder of the nationally recognized cocktail and spirits consulting company, the Bon Vivants, will visit in early 2014.  Final details and dates on these and other upcoming participants will be announced soon. Since the 1993 opening of ¡Qué Fresco! Restaurant at ZAMAS Hotel in Tulum, Mexico, owners Susan Bohlken and Daniel Vallejo McGettigan have remained true to their San Francisco roots, delivering fresh, quality, local and organic food. Today, ¡Qué Fresco! is one of the most popular restaurants in the area, and Bohlken and McGettigan continue to work with local and international chefs to develop an ever-evolving regionally inspired menu. The owners have also created a unique program to bring renowned musical artists to ¡Qué Fresco! and ZAMAS. The vibrancy and depth of ¡Qué Fresco!’s kitchen reflects the passions and diversity of the chefs who have contributed to its success over the past 19 years. Each left his or her mark, from the first chef, a top toque from Berkeley, to the two New York chefs who added the very popular “Danny Burger;” to the local Mayan woman – a mother of 10 – who crafted the restaurant’s sainted “Habanero Salsa.” The food and drinks prepared during the Zamas Chef / Mixologist Series can be enjoyed by hotel guests, locals and visitors in the area. For more information please email