Bert Bonnarens leads the kitchen team at Cocina de Autor Grand Velas Los Cabos. He recently arrived from Belgium and shared how amazing it is to wake to the vibrant blue of the sea.
“After just one week in Los Cabos, I can say I am in love with this place. I have been able to look around and I am impressed by the contrasting landscapes. On one side you can see mountains and the desert. On the other side, you have the beaches, which brings so much peace. What strikes me most is the sea. It seems to have been colored by a child, with a spectacular intense blue.”
Bert attributes his interest in cooking to his mother who always took care of him and his brother.
“Every time I saw her in the kitchen, I offered to help … and of course taste first! At eight years old, I could practically cook by myself. It was then I knew cooking was what I wanted to do professionally.”
One of the personalities in the culinary industry Bert follows is the Spanish chef Dany Garcia.
“What I like about his cooking style is that, at first glance, it seems simple. However, when you look closely, he brings fun and intricate details to his dishes. He uses Spanish ingredients in an out of the ordinary way.”
Dining in different places inspires Bert to find new flavors. He is not afraid to break some rules, take risks and experiment with ingredients in his kitchen laboratory.
“Dining out and traveling is what inspires me the most. I love going to the local markets in every place I visit and buying ingredients that I don’t recognize and don’t know how they taste. I buy extra in case I ruin some in my initial attempts. Experimenting is the best way to discover new things. Also, the most fun!”
“Sydney Schutte was my mentor for two years in Belgium. One of the challenges of representing his style in Cocina de Autor is to maintain his philosophy and standards. He creates dishes that seem to make no sense. However, they work. I follow this formula every day and do not stay in my comfort zone.”
When not in the restaurant, Bert likes outdoor activities on the sea, whether sailing or swimming. He also enjoys just being with friends, many of whom are chefs. They meet in different homes to cook together.
Cocina de Autor is a culinary concept designed to surprise the diner. Visitors can expect a unique gastronomic experience, even after reading the menu. The tastes and dishes are exclusive to the Grand Velas Los Cabos restaurant.
“One of the dishes is the lobina sea bass with passion fruit. The two elements don’t usually go together but they do leave you thinking fondly about the taste. Creating amazing experiences is what I like most about this type of cuisine. That’s in addition to having the freedom to prepare the strangest yet exquisite creations.”
Grand Velas Los Cabos pampers the guest by being one step ahead in every way. The staff will even bring you something you didn’t know you wanted. That is the key to excellence. Delight in the gastronomy and live the Grand Velas experience.
Favorite phrase: Buzze geven! In Belgian it means giving everything or trying your best.
Star dish in a meeting with friends: Osobuco with tomato sauce and lime.
Happy dish: A Belgian classic, Vol-au-vent with chicken, meatballs and parsley.
Essential kitchen utensil: A good set of knives.
Favorite Mexican ingredients: Corn and chili peppers. They have so much flavor, especially the chilis.