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MIAMI (July 23, 2012) – Azul Hotels by Karisma, a premier collection of Gourmet Inclusive properties located throughout the Riviera Maya, Mexico, today announced Le Jonatan Gomez-Luna Torres, executive chef of Le Chique at Azul Sensatori Hotel by Karisma, as winner of the 15th Annual Hot & Spicy Food Festival culinary competition hosted by the Harbourfront Centre on July 21, 2012. Chef Jonatan was recognized for his innovative approach to garlic – the secret ingredient in the “Iron Chef”-styled competition, where he prepared several winning dishes, alongside his sous chef Julio Mara Mackey, including a hen in black mole sauce with a creamy camote puree with an emulsion of vanilla and cinnamon.
“I’m excited and honored to represent Mexico and Azul Hotels by Karisma in this important competition and to be recognized as the winner among other chefs I admire and respect,” said Torres. “At Le Chique, my goal is to always create a memorable experience for my guests through my food using fresh, authentic Mexican ingredients – and I’m glad I was able to do the same for the judges.”
In the style of the popular culinary television show, the Hot & Spicy Food Festival “Iron Chef”-styled competition brings together some of the best chefs from around the world, each challenged with 45 minutes to prepare a dish using a secret ingredient to present to the judging panel comprised by experts in culinary arts. Chef Jonatan competed against several notable chefs, including Ross Warhol, executive chef at Athenaeum Hotel. Prior to the finalist round of the competition, Chef Jonatan and sous chef Julio won the semi-finals against a Canadian chef.
As executive chef of Le Chique, Jonatan brings bold, fun, cutting-edge cuisine, full of memories based on the most innovative cooking techniques without forgetting essential culinary foundations and traditions. Today, Le Chique is catalogued as one of the best restaurants in the Riviera Maya and, as one of the best restaurants in the country by some culinary critics. As a part of the Gourmet Inclusive experience, Le Chique at Azul Sensatori Hotel cooks up imaginative preparations that demand attention as well as cocktails and desserts intended to tease the senses with astonishing presentations. This adults-only restaurant provides its guests with an upscale dining experience unlike any other with world class cuisine, premium cocktails, Buddha bar music, centered around the “Authors Dinner,” where each course creates a new memory. Transporting guests to an exotic paradise, the Le Chique experience begins with a range of flavors throughout eight courses, which are presented with the finest inventive techniques by Chef Jonatan with the goal of telling a unique story.
“We are thrilled that Jonatan has been recognized by his peers in the culinary world and by the city of Toronto for the inventive food and unforgettable experience he delivers to our guests at Azul Sensatori Hotel’s Le Chique daily,” said Mandy Chomat, vice president of sales & marketing for Premier Worldwide Marketing, the worldwide representative of Azul Hotels.
As a part of the Gourmet Inclusive experience, Azul Sensatori Hotel by Karisma offers an extensive array of lavish amenities combined with a high degree of hospitality, service, and attention to detail from champagne check-ins, full-service concierge, 24-hour room service, and beach butlers to world-class chefs, gourmet cuisine served a la carte and sommeliers who suggest perfect pairings from private label wine sections. The beachfront hotel, which is designed to foster togetherness, offers a 10,000-square-foot Zen-inspired spa and fitness center; family-friendly programs, including Azulitos Kid’s Club and Teen’s Corner; Le Chique, an adults-only restaurant featuring a notable eight-course “Author’s Dinner”; and Beachfront Sky Massages, where guests receive their treatments in total privacy on a beautifully designed, raised palapa on the beach surrounded by nothing but ocean and air.
Rates at Azul Sensatori Hotel begin at $193 per person, per night including the Gourmet Inclusive experience (all gourmet meals served a la carte, premium alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, 24-hour room service, full service concierge, king size beach beds). Hotel reservations can be booked through a GI Vacation Consultant, or by calling 1-866-527-4762, or by visiting www.karismahotels.com.
El Dorado Spa Resorts & Hotels and Azul Hotels by Karisma are a premier hotel collection operating properties throughout the Riviera Maya, Mexico, where guests savor a Gourmet Inclusive experience that fosters togetherness. Karisma’s growing portfolio is comprised of El Dorado Royale, A Spa Resort by Karisma; El Dorado Casitas Royale by Karisma; El Dorado Seaside Suites by Karisma; and El Dorado Maroma, A Beachfront Resort, by Karisma; Azul Beach Hotel by Karisma; Azul Fives Hotel by Karisma; Azul Sensatori Hotel by Karisma; and Azul Villa Carola by Karisma. Properties have been honored with the industry's top accolades including, Conde Nast Traveler’s “Top 100 Hotels in the World,” Conde Nast Traveler’s “Gold List,” Forbes’ “Top 10 Most Romantic Hotels,” Travel Weekly’s “Readers Choice Awards,” TUI Travel PLC’s “Hotel of the Year,” “Gold Medal,” and “Green Medal”, TripAdvisor® Traveler’s Choice “Best Hotels for Romance,” and AAA’s “Four Diamond Award.” Karisma has received worldwide recognition for its creative approach to hospitality management and product innovations including resorts with swim-up suites, Infinity balcony pools, beach butlers and cash-free transactions. Premier Worldwide Marketing is the exclusive worldwide sales and marketing representative for Karisma Hotels & Resorts. For reservations, please call 1-866-527-4762 or visit http://www.karismahotels.com.
Jenn Wade, Alexandra McClure, Courtney Finley, Leah Goldstein or Danielle Mayer at Glodow Nead Communications, 415.394.6500, firstname.lastname@example.org.