A year ago, we started to plan our culinary events featuring international guest chefs at Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. The events included two weeks where we would go 100% Gluten Free at both of our restaurants. We did not know what to expect, but by now, we know it was a great thing to do. Here is why…
- We have very satisfied guests that enjoy high quality gluten free meals at our resort and have received a great amount of inquiries from guests that specifically selected our resort due to the possibility of ” eating safely“.
- Their raving comments have propelled our Mirador Restaurant to the #1 position on Tripadvisor in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.
- Our staff have developed a strong expertise in gluten free cooking and menu design and most of them have gone through certification by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness GREAT Kitchens training program.
At first we were somewhat skeptical about only gluten free food at the hotel, but since the dishes were of such high quality, the guests that would normally not opt for gluten free were impressed by the high quality of the food and thoroughly enjoyed their dining experience at the hotel’s two restaurants.
Bringing in guest chefs from abroad is always a great motivation for our staff and they love to learn new techniques, trends and ideas. To bring in gluten free experts was an opportunity for our culinary staff to expand their horizons and have a lot of fun making hamburger buns, pizza dough and cakes without wheat flour. A great motivation for everybody involved.
Here some dishes that we developed during the visit of MÃ³nica Glass of Clio Restaurant in Boston and Nicole Petrongolo of Avance Restaurant in Philadelphia.
The favorite ones were the Sea Bass Crudo with a foam of sparkling wine and pickled grape quinoa and the Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio with white balsamic vinegar and horseradish.
The most popular dessert was the Frozen Ginger Mousse with blackberry corn crumble and coconut crÃ¨me fraiche.
There are plans by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness to publish a cookbook that includes some of the recipes developed during this event such as the Olive Oil Poached Snapper with quinoa, squash and a multi-grain cracker.
Several Gluten Free Bloggers such as Erin Smith who started the Gluten-Free Globetrotter visited Arenas del Mar and were thrilled with the initiatives developed by the hotel. She started her blog to find ” faraway places” that were safe for travelers with celiac disease.
If you missed the first Gluten Free week, there is still the second one coming up. Beginning November 8th 2014, the second week will feature Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook, the owners and chefs of the highly rated Zahav in Philadelphia. This restaurant was named best restaurant in Philadelphia by Philly Magazine. Contact us here for reservations or more information.
Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort is part of the Cayuga Collection of Sustainable Luxury Hotels and Lodges in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Other Cayuga Collection properties in Costa Rica and Nicaragua have benefited from these events and have also significantly improved their gluten free expertise in the culinary department. For more information on Cayuga Collection Hotels, click here.