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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. My close family and friends call me simply Tona.

Tona doing a Private Chef Service at Ruta de los Cenotes, Puerto Morelos.

Hola! 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 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 birth home town Mexico City, I also have lived and worked in Cancun, Guelph, Ontario, Oaxaca and now in Playa del Carmen. I have 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 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.

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.

Tonatiuh from Chile Verde, at the Cordon Bleu, Cancun.

In more recent years, I have trained at "Le Cordon Bleu Mexico" at the Anahuac University in Cancun. I obtained a degree for Sommelier, and learned the art of making crafted beer.


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.

Chili Peppers are just like people, some are more spicy than others.

Tonatiuh Villalba

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