Chef Ines Nopales shares her love for cooking healthy vegetarian and vegan food with authentic Mexican ingredients.
At Playa Viva we like to think of our staff as the heart of our regenerative project. We encourage them to be true stewards of sustainability, conservation and community engagement. Ines is an exemplar member of our team not only in her interactions with guests and the delicious food she makes, but also in the way she gives back and gets involved in her community.
In the nine years she has been a member of the Playa Viva team, Ines has shown a true love for cooking. When asking her how she learned, she explained, “I grew up in the countryside and my mom always cooked rancho food. I learned from her, from observing and practicing.”
Today, Ines continues to learn through observation and practice. We recently took a trip up to the Eco Casita Vegana in Zihuatanejo to learn about nutrition, ayurvedic cooking, and how to make healthy vegan meals. Ines can often be found attending these workshops in her free time, taking notes and coming up with ideas for how to incorporate new dishes at Playa Viva. “I like learning new things,” she says. “Each time I attend a workshop I’m able to learn more about vegetarian, vegan or ayurvedic foods. I didn’t know about any of this before and now I do.”
Apart from Playa Viva, Ines is often thinking about her own community of Rancho Nuevo. “I am always always considering the ingredients we have access to and how to adapt dishes so they work for us.” Ines is quick to recognize when a dish is too complicated or an ingredient to difficult to access. She often shares recipes with alternative ingredients so people from her community and more easily incorporate healthy vegetarian or vegan meals into their diets.
Soon we hope that Ines will be leading her own workshops in town, showcasing her knowledge and her love of cooking. Here at Playa Viva, we support Ines and all she is doing and hope that both community members and our guests are able to learn from and connect with such a wonderful individual.