Appointed Executive Chef
At Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Mexico
Mario Lopez has been promoted to Executive Chef of the AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Riviera Maya, one of Mexico’s Foodie Resorts. In his new position, he oversees the “Beyond All-Inclusive, Beyond All Compare” resort’s AAA Five Diamond restaurant, Cocina de Autor, the first all-inclusive restaurant in the world to win this prestigious distinction. Additionally he is responsible for five other gourmet specialty restaurants, multiple bars, 24-hr insuite service and the catering operation of the 539 all suite, uber luxury resort. The appointment is effective immediately.
Originally from Mexico City, Lopez began his culinary career in Montreal, where he found himself influenced by many different cuisines on the renowned Mont-Royal Avenue. He later returned to Mexico, completing his degree in gastronomy at the Universidad del Valle de Mexico. After graduating, he worked for “La Destilería,” a chain of Mexican restaurants found in Mexico City, where he expanded his knowledge of Mexican cuisine. He then worked at the boutique hotel Habita alongside Chef Luna Martín. Lopez most recently acted as Executive Sous Chef at Grand Velas Riviera Maya since 2014. He has participated in various gourmet festivals, including a state contest of regional dishes where he won first place, and the “Best of France Festival” held at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, alongside President of the Maîtres Cuisiniers de France, Christian Têtedoie; recipient of three Michelin Stars, Claude Le Tohic; Claude Godard; and Michel Mustière, culinary director of Velas Resorts. He was also involved in the culinary experience during the 2015 World Economic Forum event that took place at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, designing menus for the government heads of state and participants. Additionally, Lopez created a menu of Mexican cuisine for the Mexican Embassy’s celebration of Mexico’s Independence in 2015 the United Kingdom.