Experience the taste of luxury…

Tune in to Season 15 of Bravo’s Top Chef on Thursdays at 10 p.m. EST and you may see last year’s winner, Brooke Williamson, enjoying a stay at Secrets Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort!

Cook To Win A Free Stay

Show us your skills in the kitchen for a chance to win a three-night stay for two at Secrets Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort!

To officially enter, post a picture of a dish you’ve created to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, tag @secretsresorts and use the hashtag #SecretsHomeChef.

You can also upload your kitchen creation to the #SecretsHomeChef sweepstakes below. If you consider yourself a “foodie”, we want to see what you’ve got! The winner will be chosen March 8th, 2018!

Enter Now

While at Secrets Resorts & Spas, embrace your culinary side and enrich your stay with one of our culinary experiences, such as cooking classes, cocktail classes, and more.

Chef Jose Mena Rodriguez

Ernesto Palapa

Secrets Playa Mujeres Executive Chef

Chef Ernesto Palapa has extensive international culinary experience and an earnest passion for delectable foods of all sorts. His unique talents have touched many different corners of the world, ranging all the way from Tokyo to Doha to Cancun. As the Executive Chef of Secrets Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort, Ernesto oversees five á la carte gourmet restaurants, two grills, a buffet, and a café.

Twenty-five years ago, Chef Palapa got his start in the restaurant industry by working as a cook at a seafood restaurant in Mexico City. Ernesto studied hospitality and gastronomy in Mexico City and has lived in various regions of Mexico and the world. He has gone on to work for several different hotels across the globe. Chef Palapa loves to share his kitchen savviness with others, which is why he has also worked as a teacher at the University of Bahía Banderas in Nayarit.

His favorite type of cuisine to cook is Thai food and his favorite dish to eat is Thai style fried rice with seafood and chili.

"Being a chef is being able to display your feelings in a fun and passionate way through your dish" – Chef Ernesto Palapa

Seared Sea Bass

Chef Palapa’s Seared Sea Bass with fig sauce tastes just as delectable as it looks. See below for step-by-step instructions to make this zesty seafood dish!


  • 5 oz. sea bass
  • 0.11 lb fig sauce
  • 4 mushrooms sautéed in red wine
  • ½ cup jasmine rice
  • 1 tsp frisée salad with peaches
  • 2 cups fresh figs (in halves)
  • 1 tsp finely chopped white onion
  • ½ tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 2 cups red wine
  • ½ cup baby frisée
  • 1 peach rested in syrup
  • ½ red bell pepper julienned
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 clove
  • ½ cardamom
  • ½ cinnamon quill
  • 2 cups vegetables bouillon
  • 2 tsp olive oil
CSeared Sea Bass



In a previously heated pan, marinate the fish with lemon juice, finely chopped garlic and thyme for 5 minutes and sear on all sides of the fillet. Place the fig sauce at the base of the plate, then place the rice over the sauce. Next, situate the previously cooked mushrooms over the rice. Lastly, lay the bass over the rice and mushrooms base.

Fig Sauce

In a preheated pan add garlic and onion. Sauté for 5 minutes. Then, add the figs and sauté for an additional 5 minutes. Next, add the wine and let it reduce. Grind thoroughly and let it reduce until it is consistent.

Frisée Salad with Peaches

In a small bowl add the lettuce. Julienne the peach and red pepper and add to the lettuce, then mix the salad. Season with olive oil, the juice of half of a lemon, salt and pepper.

Jasmine Rice

Rinse the rice thoroughly 4 times and set aside. In a previously heated pan, add olive oil, clove, cinnamon and cardamom. Sauté for 2 minutes and add the vegetable bouillon. Bring to a boil, then add the rice and cook for 5 minutes until the consistency is soft. Finally, drain the excess water and keep it on a hot plate.

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