Mare Nostrum, a Tapas restaurant in La Cruz.


Recognized as one of the best culinary countries in the world it doesn’t surprise me that Chef Chuss Perez is from Spain, specifically the town of Asturias. I adore Spain and tapas; enjoying small bites of many foods while sharing the experience with friends is my favorite dining experience.


Chuss’ original profession was as an actor and theater professor. To pay for his education, he worked in restaurants in Ibiza, Scotland, USA, Peru, Colombia, and Acapulco, until his last job at a Spanish restaurant in Morocco. Chuss was head Chef at Restaurant Rabat, owned by a Prince, the brother of the King of Morocco.

Europe’s loss is La Cruz and Vallarta’s gain! Travelling half the world he met and married Silvia Monfil in Spain. Silvia, from Xalapa, Veracruz and Chuss deciding to return to Mexico and run a restaurant contacted their Spanish friend, Yaya, who told them about the building where Roberto’s Xocolat was located. The gorgeous view combined with their tasty food is a marriage made in heaven.


Mare Nostrum is Latin for ‘our sea’; its how the Ancient Romans referred to the Mediterranean. Chuss says his intention in La Cruz, apart from bringing the best recipes from the Mediterranean cuisine, is to help promote tourism throughout the year so that all businesses can thrive even in low season. There is so much beauty here, take a drive and come visit, enjoy the view and have a wonderful meal. Eager to extend the season in La Cruz, Chef Chuss and Silvia encourage all to enjoy Mare Nostrum offering a complimentary appetizer or dessert for lunch and/or dinner if you mention that you read this article.


Open for just over a month now, Mare Nostrum’s owners are creating so much more than fabulous food. They’re also creating a cooking school, a theater, and bringing in a physical trainer. They’ll offer exercise in the mornings on their terrace with that spectacular view overlooking the entire bay. They’ll prepare a healthy breakfast for those who’ve exercised and others too; free coffee included.


Chef Chuss Perez, a chef for more than 25 years, told me, “ I love to cook, teach my favourite recipes and talk to customers. I’m always interested in suggestions and opinions. My challenge is to make this one of the best restaurants, not only to eat, but also to relax on the sunny terrace with a good mojito while listening to great music; often live shows. It inspires me to enjoy the spectacular view while being able to create the best food with my hands. My slogan is: “Relax, refresh, leave happy”. I spend my days in the restaurant except Mondays when we close. I like the sea, it is my favorite place to walk and relax.”

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In their new hometown they say they live simply and have yet to know many people. I’m a lover of animals and treasure children. Chuss is looking forward to working with youth in our community so that they may understand the world that awaits them outside. He wants to be a positive influence, teaching them to act and the art of more ancient humanity, the theatre, and make plays. My life is theatre, inspiring children and the kitchen. That is what makes me happy.


A quote he created: “Listen, observe, and learn from children and that will make us a happier life”


I anticipate great success for Chuss and Silvia! Day or night, enjoy the beautiful view of the bay and a great meal; for more details call 329 295 6388.


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Cindy Bouchard
Cindy Bouchard, an expat Canadian runs a Boutique Hotel, Villa Amor del Mar, in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. She and her husband Chris are living and lovin’ in Vallarta–Nayarit. If you want more info on La Cruz or desire… A very special vacation contact Cindy via