Chef Fred Ruiz 

“When you are Mexican, the culture of cooking never goes away,” says Executive Chef Fred Ruiz, of the Marriott Resort Puerto Vallarta. Born in Chapala, in the state of Jalisco, near to Guadalajara. Ruiz grew up in California. After high school, he was employed as a storeroom clerk at the Marriott Rancho Las Palmas, but was more interested in “the guy with the big hat.” Fascinated, he worked his regular job until 2:00 p.m. and then observed in the hotel’s kitchen every night until 10:00 p.m. After six months, “the guy with the big hat” offered him a job making cold prep.

Chef’s training at the Marriott California Hotel and Culinary School followed, and since 1986, Chef Ruiz has dazzled guests at some of the Marriott’s most prestigious locations; New York, Chicago and Denver  since 2003, in Puerto Vallarta.

While at the Rancho Las Palmas, Fred Ruiz had the opportunity to cook directly for Presidents Nixon, Ford and Reagan, as well as private parties hosted by Frank Sinatra, among other Palm Springs area stars.

Eventually he assumed the position of Executive Chef for the Chicago Marriott, were he successfully competed in numerous American Culinary Federation Competitions, was recognized for having the most improved Food & Beverage leadership team in the mid-west region and was named “Manager of the Year.” Most recently, while serving as Executive Chef for the Denver Marriott Southeast, Fred actively participated in functions sponsored by the Denver Marriott Business Council among the Johnson & Wales Culinary School. He also helped kick-off the “Taste of the Nation” and was selected as the “Leader of the Quarter.” Also while at the Denver Marriott, he scored a perfect 100 on the QA Audit.

Fred has directed the CasaMagna Marriott’s restaurants and banquet events with his dynamic culinary expertise since June of 2003. In 2004, he earned Marriott Internationals’ Culinary Excellence Award. In early 2007, he became a Business Council member overseeing all gastronomical updates and menus for 43 Marriott’s hotels in Mexico, Caribbean and Latin America, representing the spirit of service of the chain.

The charm and flavors of Fred’s creations have been internationally recognized, giving him the opportunity to cook for people like Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Frank Sinatra, among others. His cuisine, fresh and elegant, fuses elements of various cultures to create innovative dishes inspired by his Mexican roots.


Traditional Mexican Salsa

2 tbsp. white onions, finely diced

8 tomatoes, diced

2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro

2 Serrano chiles, finely diced

Salt to taste

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 tomatoes roasted and finely chopped

Note: to roast tomatoes, preheat the oven to 325° place them in a small roasting pan and cook until blackened, then remove from oven and cool.

Preparation: combine all the ingredients in the molcajete adjusting the seasoning of salt.

Serving suggestions: especially good with tortilla chips or grilled meats, fish or chicken.

Yield: 2 ½ cups.


Wine Cellar

La Estancia restaurant offers a modern Wine Cellar, with more of 600 bottles of wine. It has a very balanced wine selection; you will find wines from different regions of the world including France, Spain, Italy, Australia, Chile, Argentina, Canada, U.S. and Mexican wines from Baja California and Durango.


This luxurious marble hall is available for designed dinner, exclusively for Cava, by award winning Executive Chef Fred Ruiz. Each course of the menu will be paired to create an unforgettable experience that will satisfy the most exigent palate.

To give your dinner a pleasurable and cultural touch, how about starting with a previous wine or tequila tasting? Our expert Audrey Formisano will entertain your guest with smarts details for enliven your evening.



We are proud to be one of only resorts in the world with its own brand of tequila and grows its own blue agave on property. Once it reaches maturity (five-seven years) it is harvested by traditional Mexican jimadors. The juice from the plant’s “pineapple” is then fermented, distilled and aged in oak barrels for up to one year. Authentic Mexican tequila, like the CasaMagna Marriott tequila, is made to be “sipped” in order to savor the flavor. There are 5 types of tequila: White, Young, Rested, Aged, Extra Aged.

We offer more than 160 Tequila Brands, and we have the Distintivo “T”, award by the CRT (organism of Tequila Regulations) which guarantees you are drinking certified tequila from the zone.

Tequila Tasting 

Learn about the history of tequila with our Tequilier, Audrey Formisano, she will guide you through the myth of Mayahuel, goddess of Tequila and Quetzalcóatl, her eternal lover, and how tequila is made. If you like to book a Tequila Tasting, ask in Concierge.

Options for Tasting:

-CasaMagna Selection

White, Rested and Aged Tequila

-Don Julio Selection

White, Rested and 1942 Tequila

-Premium Selection

CasaMagna Tequila Extra Aged, Don Julio 1942 and Supreme Selection Reserva de la Familia.