Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City
- Paseo de la Reforma #500, Colonia Juarez, Mexico City, 06600, Mexico
Four Seasons Tenure
- Since 2015
- First Four Seasons Assignment: Current
- Nemi Restaurant, Mexico City; Dulce Patria Restaurant, Mexico City; Copita Tequileria y Comida, San Francisco
- Mexico City, Mexico
- Spanish, English
With his refreshing youth, Chef Tonatiuh Cuevas leads Zanaya at Four Seasons Hotel Mexico City, which seeks to present the authentic flavors of the Pacific Ocean to Mexico City through dishes that evoke years of tradition and history from the Nayarita region.
For Tonatiuh, youth is synonymous of enthusiasm and creativity. Having worked in some of the most important kitchens of the local and international gastronomic scene, he has incredible experience that has led him to undertake this adventure to connect him with the flavours and ingredients of the Mexican coast, where he has his own roots.
"One of the most vivid memories that I keep with me is the first time I ate a zarandeado fish on the beach. I remember I was in Nayarit in a palapa with my family and I can still revive that moment every time I taste the fish. And that is what it is all about in this kitchen: to create authentic moments where the food is the main star."
Since he arrived at Four Seasons, Tonatiuh devoted himself body and soul to the creation of Zanaya, not only by recreating the typical flavours of the Pacific, but also by working on every detail of his new kitchen. This is evidenced by the crafted grill exclusively built in the kitchen for the preparation of the zarandeado fish. It's almost a ritual to light the wood and patiently wait for the flames and embers to be just perfect.
"Today, with so many options, people are looking for places where they can eat well but at the same time have a unique experience. Our objective is to offer the best Mexican Pacific cuisine in the city, with the freshest ingredients but wrapped in unforgettable details; for example, to bring cheese, salt and various products from the region; or to cook in our zaranda, as it was done on the coast before the arrival of the Spaniards. These are unique details that just make the difference," says Tonatiuh.
Tonatiuh believes that a restaurant affiliated with Four Seasons always generates high expectations. Nevertheless, he feels up to this challenge and believes that Zanaya represents the renewed spirit of the Hotel and the boisterous dining scene in Mexico that has captivated the interest of local and international foodies.
"There isn't such a unique space for lunch or dinner in Mexico City. Zanaya is a restaurant with its own identity and I feel very lucky to lead this much more relaxed project, which seeks to preserve rich Mexican culinary traditions in a unique and sophisticated way. It has been a long journey full of learning, but the result is on the table, the concept is now served."
After having the opportunity to collaborate with prestigious international chefs in Mexico as Michael Mina and Martha Ortiz, Tonatiuh understands the contribution that Mexican cooks are making to the world, as well as the importance of Mexican cuisine worldwide. "When I was out of Mexico, I had the time to recognise the enormous potential that Mexican cuisine has in the world and now that I have the opportunity, I will not only interpret it, but as I have learned during my career, I will pay homage to our roots, I will preserve our traditions and ingredients and I will give voice and speech to the kitchen. I will feel completely honoured if someone feels curious to discover more about Mexico thanks to our culinary offering.”