Tonatiuh

Tonatiuh is a Nahuatl name that means "The Lord of the Sun". Nahuatl is a Mexican Indigenous language that was spoken all around the Central Highlands of Mexico. Nahuatl is an important indigenous language that continues to exist and is spoken in Mexico. The name Mexico is also a Nahuatl name that means "The Belly of the Moon", and it is pronounced "Meshico". My close family and friends call me Tonatiuh or simply Tona, feel free to call my Tona.

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Hola! I want to share a little bit about my self, my experience and life. I am fourth generation in a family of cooks and restauranteurs, starting with my great-grandmother who in the late 1920's opened a traditional restaurant called Los Volantines in the state of Colima, on the Mexican Pacific coast, then managed by my highly admired great aunts until November 2013 when in their late 80's, they finally retired. This family adventure continued with my mother's restaurant-bar, La Peña del 33, in downtown Mexico City, where I was born and raised, and where I started my career in this industry, about  25 years ago.

I have worked in restaurants and bars in my home town Mexico City, but I also have  traveled for years and worked in Cancun, Guelph, Ontario, Oaxaca and in Playa del Carmen, which I now call my home. I have been lucky to have worked with some of the best in the restaurant and bar industry, but, life is a living experience and also I have had bad experiences with the "worst". I  participated in many bartender contests in Mexico city and Cancun, gaining top recognition for my creative cocktails and presentations. When I lived in Canada, I worked for years learning the professionalism and the North American culinary style and standards. I won local awards in 2004 and 2005 for best and most popular menu at the Guelph Multi Cultural Festival and the Hillside Music Festival in Ontario.

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Then living in Oaxaca, I created Mezcaltender, a bartending contest promoting the Mezcal. Mezcal is a great and unique spirit made from the Agave plant. I managed the event, which took place in October 2007, involving restaurant and bar owners, distilleries, local producers and bartenders from Mexico and USA.

In more recent years, I trained at "Le Cordon Bleu Mexico" at the Anahuac University in Cancun. I obtained a degree for Sommelier, learned the art of making crafted beer with Sommelier Ana Cecilia Aranzabal, and recently finished a couple of "Culinary" Photography courses and a Mexican Cooking course with the director of the "Escuela de Gastronomia Mexicana" Chef Yuri de Gortari.

 

Today living in Playa del Carmen, where my young kids were born, I have found my place as a personal Chef for those interested in giving the flavors of Mexico a try.