JN: Do you travel much?
JB: Not really, because I’m too busy putting in long days here overseeing both restaurants, so now I “travel the web” for my inspiration. We have many international guests here who have eaten all over the world, so I want to make them happy. I have traveled to the United States where I had some wonderful food, particularly in Santa Monica. Although I didn’t get to meet him, one of my biggest influences is Thomas Keller. I like the way he works with his suppliers and growers, and he really loves what he does.
JN: Was that your proudest moment?
JB: It’s probably when, after trying my food, many guests beg me to write a cookbook. Also, I was very excited when Chef Daniel Boulud, who was being honored at this year’s Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival, tasted my salad and said he really liked it, and asked me what was in it.
I told him, “Braised sweet potato salad, foam of goat cheese, ground pumpkin seeds, native melipona honey and kastacan vinaigrette, oil of xcatic and chaya, [and] fresh watercress.”