In Puerto Vallarta, Executive Chef Claudio Hotter of the Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit combines global culinary flair with local flavors for his sumptuous yet airy crispy red snapper in capers sauce.

Surrounded by the breathtaking coastline of Puerto Vallarta, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit’s restaurants cross the culinary world, fusing flavor with artful presentation. From gourmet Mexican to Italian-Mediterranean to traditional French, this all-inclusive resort boasts an eclectic mix of cuisine.

Chef Claudio Hotter presides over all four of Grand Velas’s AAA Four Diamond restaurants. Hotter started his gastronomic career in his home country of Austria but has developed his style in a global kitchen. From Austria, his culinary training continued in Switzerland, Spain, and eventually Mexico, where for six years he has delighted palates in Cancún, Merida, and now Puerto Vallarta.

Over the past few years, Hotter says he has evolved his style from very exact to more creative—cooking with local, seasonal products and blending skills acquired in Central Europe, Asia, and Central America. He emphasizes, however, that the basics, a strict approach to recipes, and discipline are all important components of the culinary arts.

Hotter says that he wanted to add something light, fresh, and crisp to the new menu he and his staff were developing for Grand Velas’s French Restaurant, Piaf. The result: crispy red snapper in capers sauce with grilled vegetables, which incorporates local ingredients and flavors into what is now a favorite dish.  


Crispy Red Snapper in Capers Sauce with Grilled Vegetables- serves 4

Crispy Red Snapper

4 red snapper fillets, 4 oz. each

8 sheets of fillo dough (2 per filet)

8 slices of sun-dried tomato (2 per filet)

4 sprigs thyme 4 sprigs fennel Clarified butter  


Capers Sauce

1 c. veal demi glace

1 oz. capers

¼ c. tomato confit

1 tbsp. lemon juice

3 diced shallots


Marinated Vegetables

oz. wild mushrooms

2 sliced Italian zucchini

4 sliced tomatoes (confit in olive oil, garlic cloves, and fine herbs in oven at 160° for 35 min.)

1 sliced eggplant Salt, pepper, and olive oil


Crispy Red Snapper in Capers Sauce: Place fennel, thyme, and tomato confit over red snapper filet. Roll lengthwise. Dress one slice of fillo dough with clarified butter. Place another slice of dough on top and dress with clarified butter. Put rolled snapper on dough, tuck ends, and roll so the red snapper is wrapped in a dough “purse.” Place snapper purses on baking sheet and bake at 350° for 11 minutes. Reduce the veal demi glace, add capers, and season with salt and pepper. 

Grilled Vegetables: Season sliced vegetables with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Grill on both sides and stack in ramekin. Dress with clarified butter.

To serve: Dress the plate with the reduced capers sauce and fennel. Cut the baked red snapper into two pieces and serve over grilled vegetables.