"Behind the Scenes" at the Ritz Carlton Cancun

When my husband and I were offered the opportunity to go "behind the scenes" last week at the Ritz Carlton Cancun, we jumped at the chance. How amazing would it be to see what goes on back stage at the hotel which we love so much?  

Chef Rory Dunaway courtesy of Ritz Carlton Cancun
The affable Chef de Cuisine, Rory Dunaway, met us in the lobby and took us an extensive tour of the "heart of the house" - the staff areas, the laundry departments, all of the kitchens and food preparation areas, even the security room. 
We began at the place where all the fresh produce literally enters the building. It is quadruple washed with special fruit/vegetable cleaners and sorted for quality as soon as it is unloaded by the vendors. They want to make sure that no guest is served anything that isn't top quality.  
Housekeeping getting their evening assignments
Next we walked through the human resources department where the employees are selected (on average only one out of a hundred applicants is hired) and special events and rewards for the employees are organized.  In housekeeping, it was shift change time, so we saw the housekeeping staff lining up to get their evening turn down assignments. 
Preparing linens to go into the pressing machine
We visited the laundry facilities and saw the gigantic washers and dryers, as well as the state of the art pressing machine that presses and folds linens. An interesting note, the hotel provides the staff with three uniforms and dry cleans them on their behalf each day, so when an employee arrives at the hotel, a clean uniform is waiting for them.
The Pastry Chef making truffles
We then toured the all the various different kitchen areas, including the bakery, the cold storage, the banquet department, the dishwashing area, room service preparation just to list a few! The pastry chef greeted us with freshly made truffles and was pleased to show us his chocolate creations.  There is an on site butcher and separate kitchens for each of the hotel's restaurants.  We also saw the wine and tequila room. Every single space we visited was spotlessly clean with the staff preparing delicious looking and impressive quantities of food.

Viking Demonstration Kitchen courtesy of Ritz Carlton Cancun
Rory finished up the tour by showing us the gorgeous oceanfront Viking demonstration kitchen where he holds cooking classes and his Chef's Table, a four course menu with wine pairings prepared while you watch. He kindly shared a tasting of his favorite tequila with us. Sadly for Cancun, Rory is leaving this week for the brand new Ritz Carlton Reserve at Dorado Beach, Puerto Rico opening in December where he will lead three new restaurants. We will have to be sure to make plans to visit Rory in his new location as soon as it opens!  As much as Rory will be missed, The Ritz Carlton Cancun should have no problem finding another excellent chef to join their ranks.

Staff Dining Room - they are served three meals a day
What amazed us more than anything was how genuinely happy all the employees seemed. The hotel was selected the Best Place to Work in Mexico by Expansion Magazine last year. Rory explained to us that the Cancun property, as well as the Ritz Carlton corporation, works hard to ensure employee satisfaction.  They are clearly doing a great job - every employee we encountered, both on our tour and during our stay, was clearly proud of his or her position and worked diligently on behalf of the Ritz Carlton and their guests.
Room service preparation

One of the restaurant kitchens

The pantry

Another restaurant kitchen

Thank you, Rory, for the incredible tour and best of luck to you in Puerto Rico!