Chef Mads Refslund's fresh seafood may even make you forget about turkey.

By Stacey Leasca
November 13, 2020
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Credit: Courtesy of Auberge Resorts Collection

To get the tastiest Thanksgiving dinner this year, you’re going to have to go to Cabo. Auberge Resorts Collection’s two properties in Los Cabos — Chileno Bay Resort & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection, and Esperanza, Auberge Resorts Collection — announced in November that chef Mads Refslund, one of the world’s most acclaimed chefs, will celebrate the season of gratitude in Cabo with a limited series of exclusive dining experiences over Thanksgiving weekend.

“We are delighted to offer our guests the opportunity to have one of the world’s most acclaimed chefs prepare a private dinner in their villas or experience one of his intimate outdoor group dinners,” Roger Ponce, general manager, Chileno Bay Resort & Residences, said in a statement. “Dedicated to terroir and to food that is sourced locally and sustainably, our guests will delight in Chef’s use of the bounty of the Sea of Cortez, and the many organic farms in and around Los Cabos.”

According to the hotels, Chef Refslund will draw on the “bounty of the Sea of Cortez and the area’s abundant organic farms” to create dishes that can be had nowhere else in the world, giving guests the opportunity to sample truly one-of-a-kind dishes. 

“The seafood in Baja is unmatched, so Sea Urchin and delicious Chocolate Clams will certainly be menu centerpieces,” Chef Refslund shares with Travel + Leisure. “I will also be incorporating bright additions like squash, squash leaves, pepitas, and sunflower petals throughout for a pop of color and robust flavor. Mexican cuisine is often served family-style, which I’m really fond of, so expect to see elevated yet shareable dishes as well as a unique take on tacos.” 

Beyond eating a tasty meal, guests can also feel good about the food they are eating. Chef Refslund explains, he will draw on his passions for sustainable sourcing and “zero-waste” cooking to create the unique menu.

“I am originally from Denmark, so I was taught to cook in a minimal-to-zero waste approach,” he says. “This is much more common in Scandinavian and Asian countries, so I was shocked to come face to face with food waste in America. As a result of my heritage, I am always discovering ways to use every part of the vegetables and meat I use in the kitchen. People often throw leftover pieces, whether a fish head or carrot top, away because they don’t know how to cook with them. I’m passionate about illustrating how to use the entirety of a product and reducing food waste too, not only save money but take better care of Mother Earth.” 

Beyond the food, guests can also sip on wine pairings selected by master sommeliers, with a special focus on the Baja Peninsula. 

Guests can choose from three ways of enjoying a meal by chef Refslund: The first is to book an exclusive dinner on Nov. 24, 25, or 26, which Refslund will prepare in their private villa. Pricing starts at $5,000 for up to 10 guests.

The second is to book a seat at the oceanfront terrace at Esperanza’s stunning Cocina del Mar on Nov. 27. That is when Chef Refslund will take to the outdoor exhibition kitchen to demonstrate his ingenious ways to minimize food waste, “culminating in an evening as enlightening as it is delicious.” This experience starts at $145 per person and reservations are required. 

Finally, on Nov. 28, Refslund will cook over a live fire on the beach at Chileno Bay to create a multi-course dinner. This experience also starts at $145 per person and reservations are required. 

“I am coming to Los Cabos with an open heart and open mind,” Refslund says. “I am very inspired by Mexico, and I love cooking with the bounty of ingredients here. When you cook with the heart, you can really feel the love in the food. I’m looking forward to a colorful and authentic experience.” 

Credit: Courtesy of Auberge Resorts Collection

For more information or reservations at Chileno Bay Resort and Residences check out the hotel website now