What pulls us back about Sayulit on the Nayarit Riviera in Mexico? Located north of Puerto Vallarte, the world is away from a “typical” tourist destination.
Is it because it’s a sleepy little fishing village with a relaxed surf vibe that satisfies our inner child that he can only freely explore the ocean, beach, and Mexican culture of years past?
Is it a village that defies the temptation of over-commercialization, which in turn would destroy the warmth and charm of the hidden gem?
Is it a sandy shore with a long, gentle break to surf warm, clear water?
We believe all of the above and that “Sayulita Good Vibes” is a real state of mind that all visitors experience … and constantly pulls us back.
Establish a base camp
This article focuses on eating … simple and easy … since most of everything you eat here is fresh, local and reasonably priced.
Sayulita is an Epicurean delight with exceptional dining options from “street food” to full gourmet restaurants.
We usually choose a roadless trip and find holiday homes that boast a well-equipped chef’s kitchen.
Again Sayulita Life (sayulitalife.com) becomes a site to go. They represent over 400 vacation rental options and we usually find the “perfect” place.
We love to cook and on this trip we lured two more couples with like-minded people to join us. Finding a place to share three pairs also leads to price points for more expensive real estate in a much more reasonable price range.
Cornucopy of fresh ingredients
Sayulita and other surrounding villages have organized and scheduled a host of fresh-air agricultural markets that highlight organic opportunities, offering local fruits and vegetables.
One of our favorite markets was a short drive south of Sayulite at the La Cruz Marina fish market in Banderas Bay, where you can buy freshly caught fish, shrimp, lobsters, oysters and other seafood at a variety of prices.
Fish markets have been the main generation in Banderas Bay for generations, in fact many restaurants, personal chefs and caterers in the area buy their seafood every day.
In addition, there are handmade items on the Sunday market from both local and indigenous tribes in the area … each vendor can only sell what they have personally made … now it is a local pride.
Eat IN … Possibility of a personal chef
For a special treat, we hired three professional chefs on three different evenings to share their talent and honor us with their regional cooking from their heritage.
Justifying the decision to hire a personal chef for three couples who like to cook on their own was not difficult given the alternatives.
Imagine dining in the comfort of your holiday apartment, and all you have to do is enjoy a cooking demonstration (if you want), enjoy a refreshing drink and envision a fabulous kitchen that is made specifically for you and your taste preferences.
No buying ingredients, no preparation, no coating, and best of all … no cleaning. Everything takes place like magic … and less than the cost of a similar meal at an outdoor restaurant.
You owe it to yourself to try it at least once for a special date or event, and besides, you’re all on vacation … so create a keepsake!
Here are three unique chefs with their style and specialties … all waiting for your invitation.
Laura was introduced to us as a hostess at “Villa Sol Blau” and they told her that she is an excellent cook who has prepared meals for many guests.
We found that Laura uses family recipes that match local fresh ingredients and treats her food patrons like a “family” while enjoying the warmth and grace of her heritage … we enjoyed a traditional meal and Laura’s charming personality … ” was in the kitchen!
Laura prepared an authentic regional meal consisting of green Chilean enchiladas and traditional slow-cooked black beans, accompanied by Chilean Rellen with plaid sauce and Mexican rice, all based on a family recipe. Her Flan dessert was of course homemade and was tender and creamy.
Chef Sofia Silva Sanchez
We “found” Chef Sofia on the Sayulita Life website, and she also has her own website (sayulitachef.com). After reading the dazzling reviews, as well as its extensive menu options, we arranged for dinner.
Sofia is a lively, effervescent and very likeable person, and as a chef her wide range of culinary skills extends from traditional Mexican cuisine to menus offering Italian, Indian, Moroccan, vegetarian and vegan options.
Her excellent reputation as a dessert is definitely underestimated!
The meal started with cups of cucumbers stuffed with shrimp ceviche, and after that
salad of organic greens topped with chipot topping. The main course consisted of tender pieces of roasted chicken in a sauce of poblano with Mexican rice, and her dessert was a homemade lime pie topped with strawberries and mint.
Chef Daniel Murillo
Chef Daniel is a top professional and he does his cooking with a flair … he literally lights up the room! Can you say … Flambe!
Daniel owns the Mexotix restaurant in the neighboring town of San Pancho, which is a short drive north of Sayulite. He offers catering and cooking services in Sayulita, and we have enjoyed his exceptional “Mexican-Fusion with an Asian twist” style on numerous occasions. (sayulitalife.com/mexotik)
Chef Daniel is collaborating with his chef Juan on creating amazing food. He started with fried tuna with sesame peel, served over toast with cucumber noodles and alfalfa sprouts, dressed in balsamic reduction.
It is followed by handmade Empanadas stuffed with shrimp stewed in citrus Mexican salsa and melted panel cheese.
With a little flash and fire, Daniel sauteed the octopus in orange reduction with hibiscus and chips served with grilled coconut vegetables … tender and delicious.
YOU ARE IN … Prepare for lunch
Three couples established a friendly competition and there was a game for three nights! But our first stop was a trip to the La Cruz fish market, followed by a visit to various city markets and another stop at the excellent fish market just across the bridge into town.
We started with this challenge: Jumbo blue shrimp were cooked in three ways.
One team prepared Seared Mahi-Mahi with organic greens and avocados.
One team grilled two very large lobsters with lots of melted butter on the side.
One team grilled two steaks of yellow beet tuna from sushi, about two pounds.
We all showed off our cooking skills, tasted exceptional wines from Chile and Mexico, and most of all enjoyed the experience.
Creating a village kitchen with a staff of personal chefs, fresh seafood, organic farmers markets and local vendors offering all the ingredients you need for an unforgettable gastronomic experience … all located in a semi-tropical locality … is simply very special.
“Sayulita Good Vibes” is really a state of mind experienced by all visitors … and we are constantly withdrawn!
Viva Mexico … Viva Sayulita!
Finally, what’s the hurry … get inspired …
© 2017 Inspired travel itineraries with Bob and Janice Kollar