Freddy’s bar at Orient Express’ Maroma Resort and Spa on Mexico’s Riviera Maya seems a little bit out of ordinary compared with the bars of the neighboring resorts. While Corona and fried chicken wings are being served elsewhere, Freddy’s has a Tequila and Ceviche Bar with more than 100 tequilas paired with a daily variety of six exotic Ceviches created by Executive Chef Chef Juan Pablo Loza.
Loza honed his craft at some of Mexico City’s top restaurants like Le Cirque, Ciboulette and L’Olivier, as well as Jumby Bay, a Rosewood Resort off the coast of Antigua. I was at Maroma recently and had the chance to taste quite a few of Loza’s dishes and I was particularly fond of his ceviches served at the bar. One pairs Lobster and Mango, while another pairs Red Snapper and Green Tomato-Radish Salpicón. As good as they all were, the one that stuck out was the Octopus Ceviche in Chile Ancho Adobo. Apart from Javier Wong’s Octopus and Sole at Chez Wong in Lima, I’ve never really encountered an octopus based ceviche I really love (and for those that read this blog you’ve probably realized I love octopus). Until this one, which I paired with a Clase Azul Reposado tequila and shot of Sangrecita, both of which Freddy’s recommended.
Here the result is somewhat creamy and mildly spicy, but the flavor and texture of the octopus still shines through. It’s quite similar to a ceviche I recently had at Rosarito Fish Shack in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (New York).
Recipe: Octopus Ceviche in Chile Ancho Adobo
150 grs Chopped Octopus (cooked)
1 tbsp Chopped Tomato
1 tbsp Chopped Onion
1 tbsp Chopped Cilantro
1 tbsp Mayonaise
1 tbsp Chopped Jalapeño with it’s Vinegar
1 tbsp Ancho chile Paste (can be made with Chipotle too)
Salt and Pepper
-Mix all the ingredients together (except the Octopus) and season it until you have a nice and strong Salsa.
-Add the octopus and decorate with herbs and chopped tomato
For the Chile Ancho Paste
5 Ancho Chiles
1 white onion cutted in big cubes
1 garlic clove
1 Roma Tomato
-Sautée the onion and Garlic in a bit of Oil
-add the Chopped Ancho chile and stir it for one minute
-add the chopped tomato and leave to cook for at least 30 minutes
-Blend the sauce and let it cool
Writer and photographer Nicholas Gill is the editor/publisher of New World Review. He lives in Lima, Peru and Brooklyn, New York. His work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CondeNast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Afar, and Penthouse. Visit his personal website (nicholas-gill.com) for more information.