GREEN BAY, Cancun. There is something about chefs that lights me up. They feed people with love and passion and their souls go into the food art that they create. They have a certain depth and seriousness about them, yet at the same time they know how to have fun. I like this balance and Chef Azael Flores is no exception. Their open-air tiki restaurant on the water at the Green Bay marina was undergoing renovations and construction and he was not in an ideal cooking environment as the kitchen is still under construction. This did not deter him. He remained upbeat and happy and this is where his depth and seriousness over his food came through. All he had to work with was skeleton equipment, a bar counter, a tiny counter top deep fryer and a half of an oil drum with a wood fire roaring inside. He dressed the fresh Caribbean fish beautifully and wrapped it up with tender loving care before it went onto the fire. His sous chef helped with a little Mexican traditional food including a fiery red-hot salsa with fresh tortillas thrown onto the side of the grill. It was rustic traditional cooking at its finest and as we were getting ready to leave, Chef Azael said: “Don’t go yet. I have something for you to taste.”
He had grated a pure white root vegetable with great fervor and added spice and an obscene amount of freshly chopped garlic to it. Then he deep fried it in fresh oil right in front of us on the bar counter and c’est voila! Taro fritters. These tasty morsels were our departure gift. A departure we made very reluctantly.
Señorita Erika, the manager, kept the cold beers coming fast all evening and before we knew it, we had drunk way more beer than planned. It was time to go as the next day we had to fly back to reality. That evening was the third time we strolled over here for drinks. Erika had told us before not to leave until we saw the sunset. This time we stayed long enough, and it was breath-taking. (Sunset photos will follow in an upcoming blog post)
Chef Azael told us he hopes that we will return so we can have the full experience of his kitchen and the beautiful new restaurant. I fervently share that hope and cannot wait to see this amazing place once it has been completely renovated.
Make sure to go to Green Bay Marina for wonderful sunsets, amazing service, friendly staff, cold beers, a generous portion of Mexican food and a scary amount of tequila. For more photos, follow the Facebook link below this paragraph and don’t forget to check out our gorgeous dessert cookbook at www.atasteofgorgeous.com