The Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita – one of my favorite Mexico destinations – is offering an “Octopus Catch & Cook’’ culinary excursion that pays tribute to Punta Mita’s fishing heritage. It’s a great way to get to know the area and its culinary scene (www.fourseasons.com/puntamita/).
The excursion features freediving in Bahia de Banderas to catch octopus and an interactive cooking class to prepare the freshest octopus ceviche in Mexico. In partnership with Spearmex – the first luxury freediving and spearfishing academy in Punta, Mexico – the new seasonal experience is available through December 2015.
In addition, guests can sample the resort’s new private label “Cora Beer,’’ brewed exclusively for Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita by local craft brewer, Cervecería Minerva. Cora Beer is a blend that combines the smoothness of a lager with the character of an ale, deriving a unique flavor through its maturation process in tequila barrels.
Cora Beer contains 80 percent lager and 20 percent Imperial Tequila Ale – the first style of beer designed and conceived in Mexico. It has a light amber color with a medium body and is ideal for sipping at the resort’s new beachfront Shack Bar with fresh Punta Mita Ceviche, Salpicón Tostadas and Fresh Oysters. With a velvety mouth feel and elegant bitterness, the beer exudes a complex, yet pleasing aroma of fresh hops, herbs, coriander, orange peel, vanilla and caramel. Cervecería Minerva produces Cora Beer in small batches and delivers it to the resort on a regular basis to ensure absolute freshness.
Less than an hour from Puerta Vallarta, the beachfront Four Seasons Punta Mita is set on 400 acres and offers casita-style guest rooms and suites, four restaurants, a serene spa, two Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses, some of the best surfing in Mexico, lush jungles and endless activities for families and couples.
“We are excited to offer our guests a new thrilling ocean experience that combines authentic local adventure with the freshest seafood in the Riviera Nayarit,” said John O’Sullivan, general manager at Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita. “Our new Octopus Catch & Cook experience introduces guests to the wonders of Punta Mita’s waters in a fun, engaging way and is sure to surprise and delight their senses.”
Guests will begin the half-day adventure with a boat ride out to Bahia de Banderas – the third largest bay in the Americas known for its premier diving conditions – to learn proper freediving and octopus fishing techniques. Once guests have secured their fresh catches, they will be transported back to the resort and presented to the chef, who will guide them through the preparation of several signature octopus dishes.
A wild take on the traditional “hook & cook” concept, the interactive Octopus Catch & Cook experience includes:
– Snorkel clinic to prepare guests for their diving adventure
– Private guided octopus fishing excursion, with a tour of Pacific octopus nesting areas and diving lessons
– Octopus cooking class and three-course octopus lunch, including octopus salad or ceviche, grilled octopus “a la brava,” signature dessert
The experience is $225 per person with a maximum group of six and is open to guests 10 years and older. All levels of diving experience are welcome and excursion includes snorkel equipment.
So how do you cook an octopus? Here’s a primer from The Four Seasons Punta Mita culinary team:
– First you need to use an Octopus weighing one to two pounds.
– Second, you need to make sure it is well cleaned and washed. The most important thing is the cooking time and temperature — you need to bring it to a boil at the beginning then skim the foam. Turn the temperature down to simmer heat for about 45 to 60 minutes depending on the size of the octopus.
Another tip for the cooking process — make sure your broth has a strong flavor with bay leaves, a Mirepoix and other spices.