by Gynna Sainz
I opened Gynn'AK on Dec. 7, 2009. This year I was working and realized that I had had my restaurant for exactly a year!! Later that day I was speaking with my brother, and I commented to him that it was my one-year anniversary. He congratulated me and then I saw the light!
We must celebrate! I must make a party for the people, for the restaurant and for me. And so, I looked at the calendar and chose Dec. 22, a good way to begin the festivities of the holidays.
I had to take a walk, be alone for a moment, and absorb what I had just decided, figure out how to make it public, and FOLLOW THROUGH! I felt like I was having a heart attack—it was anxiety. But I was happy and excited.
Right then I knew what I would cook for my guests: my award-winning (Gastro Expo Puerto Aventuras 2010–Most unique, most exotic dish) Thai Fish Taco on a Thai Tortilla; Thai Tamarind Shrimp & Jicama Taco, also on a Thai Tortilla; Maya Thai Fish Tikin Xik on a hand-made blue corn tortilla; Chicharron Prensado D.F. Style (the meat under the pork rind—so flavorful and delicious); and a Tamal–Brazo de Reina w/ Flor de Calabaza. For dessert I prepared a Pineapple Tempura topped with Caribe Sorbet from Jason's Cafe Te Latte.
I belly-danced many songs throughout the night and made a tribute to Shakira, dancing several of her songs, she being my original inspiration to belly dance. (Ojos Asi; Hips Don't Lie; Whenever, Wherever; Obsession–tango version)
I had 49 reservations and, for two days before the event and the day of the event, people kept coming up to me, wanting to make reservations. I told them I was no longer taking reservations since I was up to my limit. I told them there would be enough food and space, and just to come by.
My guests started arriving 20 minutes before my event was to begin, from 7–9 PM (dinner and a show), and I had to get movin'! Many of the non-reserved guests started showing up then too.
I really did not have many expectations for my party; I was more afraid that no one would show up. But before I knew it, people were reserving left and right!
I had a blast! I can't wait to do it again next year and in the years to come. And, most of all, I want to thank you, Lydia, for all of your efforts for me, and thanks to everyone else who has helped support Gynn'AK and for being there. I do this with love and passion and I can't wait to make a new creation for you.