Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya Adds to Culinary Team

Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya has announced three new appointments to its culinary team. Francisco Vargas joins as the resort’s executive chef; Emilio González joins as the head chef for Japanese restaurant Ukai; and Jersaí Miranda Sánchez joins as the head chef for the signature restaurant Autor.

The resort, which opened in January, offers 11 dining venues. “We are delighted to welcome these three dynamic chefs to our resort. Under the leadership of Vargas, the resort’s team of expert chefs including González and Sánchez will bring guests into Tulum an entirely novel experience that fuses regionally inspired cuisine with flavors from around world,” said Javier Martinez, hotel manager, Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya, in a press release.

As the executive chef, Vargas leads the resort’s food and beverage program. He has over 18 years of culinary experience in the restaurant and luxury hospitality sector. Originally from Mexico City, he specializes in Mexican fare while extending into a range of influences including Asian, Mediterranean, Italian, Spanish and American. Vargas began his career with the Grupo Vidanta hospitality group, where he spent 12 years, followed by his role as executive sous chef of the Grand Velas Los Cabos. Most recently, Vargas played a vital role in defining the food and beverage program at the opening of Conrad Punta de Mita in Nayarit in 2020.

Emilio González
Emilio González (Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya)

As head chef at the resort’s restaurant, Autor, Sánchez leads the kitchen to serve Mexican fare using a blend of fresh and ancestral Mexican techniques. Sánchez studied at the Culinary College of Morelia and, during this time, traveled around the country to learn about ingredients, cultures, techniques and flavors. He worked at several restaurants in Morelia prior to starting his journey in the Mexican Caribbean at the Thompson Hotel in 2017. Later, he joined Chef Pedro Abascal’s Primo.

As head chef at the Japanese restaurant Ukai, González creates sushi and seafood dishes alongside his team. Ukai is a sushi bar dedicated to the traditional Japanese fishing methods and committed to sustainable fishing. An expert in Japanese cuisine, González successfully launched three Japanese-inspired restaurants following his early career and training at Centro Culinario Ambrosia.

Jersaí Miranda Sánchez
Jersaí Miranda Sánchez (Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya)

The dining options at Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya include five restaurants and six bars and lounges featuring globally inspired cuisine and catering for meetings and events. Venue highlights include: Autor, an ode to its chef or “author,” where guests experience a personalized culinary journey; Maratea features cuisine inspired by the Mediterranean Basin from southern Spain to North Africa, Greece and Turkey; Ukai, a sushi bar; Kengai, a teppanyaki restaurant that blends classic Japanese and Southeast Asian techniques with local ingredients and styles; Chaak Bar, named after the Mayan rain god; and Cafetal, a café and market serving locally sourced coffee, snacks and all-day essentials.

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