Meet Chef Daniel

Introducing Daniel Ramirez, Playa Viva’s New Chef.

We are proud to introduce Playa Viva’s new Chef, Daniel Ramirez. A native of Guadalajara, Daniel has spent much of his professional career working in Baja California. With experience in vegan, vegetarian and Farm-to-Table dishes, he brings newfound energy and creativity to the Playa Viva kitchen. I recently sat down with Daniel to discuss the impact of food on our community, to learn more about his past and what to expect from him this season.  

Colleen Fugate: You recently helped lead a regenerative workshop with the staff at Playa Viva. Your station touched on Playa Viva’s Core Value of “Creating Meaningful Community”. What did you teach at your station and what did you learn? 

Chef Daniel: We talked about eating a balanced diet and the importance of having a diet that is integral. We also talked about the importance of consuming products that are local and organic and the impact that this can have on a community and its residents. I was struck by the fact that pretty much all of the staff at Playa Viva want to eat healthier but aren’t exactly sure how to do so or what that means. Hopefully we can begin to change that this year. 

CF: Tell us a little about yourself.  What drew you to become a chef? 

CD: Overall it was art, my mother and my family history that drew me to becoming a chef. 

When I was young, I was studying music informally. My grandmother didn’t see much potential and told me, “Study something where you won’t die of hunger.” My mother and I used to like to watch cooking shows on TV and she mentioned that it was a really nice job. So I responded to my grandma, “I’m going to study and work in a kitchen. Surely there I won’t die of hunger.” 

Pretty much all of the staff at Playa Viva want to eat healthier but aren’t exactly sure how to do so or what that means. Hopefully we can begin to change that this year. 

One thing led to the next until I stepped foot into my first job in a kitchen. I continued to study the art of cooking, and realizing that I would never want to leave the profession, I looked for a scholarship to study at a culinary school. The rest is history! 

CF: How would you describe your own personal cooking style? 

CD: Creative Mexican cuisine that’s fresh and authentic. 

CF: What does Farm to Table mean to you? 

Farm to table means that at your hands you have the freshest product possible and the responsibility to take care of it and serve it in a way that exposes its properties to their maximum potential for the most pleasurable dining experience possible.  

Chef Daniel…brings newfound energy and creativity to the Playa Viva kitchen.

CF: What are you excited to learn here at Playa Viva? 

CD: Chocolate, community, chocolate and chocolate! 

Creative Mexican cuisine that’s fresh and authentic.

CF: What new things can guests expect in the Playa Viva kitchen this season?

CD: People can expect a live preparation of food. Right now we have incorporated a new ceviche station at lunch and a “make your own taco” night at dinner. This season people can always expect the freshest food possible with vegetables for everyone! 

Colleen Fugate is the Social and Environmental Impact Manager at Playa Viva.  She lives in Juluchuca.  Learn more about her work engaging our local communities through our social impact programs.

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