From Greece to Cozumel: Dancing Chef Leonie

My name is Leonie and I’m the latest addition to the Salsa and Salsa family. I’m from Greece but my mother is Dutch and I’ve studied photography so if you see me coming close to your table please strike a pose and give me your biggest smile!


I’ve been on the island of Cozumel for just 2 weeks and the first week I was here I couldn’t do anything because of the weather and the constant rain. Dancing Chef Maaike and I went for a drive around the island and I have to tell you from what I’ve seen so far the island is so beautiful! Plenty of beaches (although I don’t really have to say that since it’s an island!!) and surfers here can find beaches that are perfect for them since the waves are really big. Here are some pictures for you!


I know that the sky is grey but you just have to visit this island and check the beaches out for yourself. For people who are more interested in history and landscapes there are also plenty of things to see here. The most ancient Mayan temples are located here (even though I haven’t had a chance to go there myself yet).


The water here is absolutely clear and you can see all kinds of colored fish swimming underneath you. Just in case you haven’t heard Cozumel is one of the places to be for diving and snorkeling. You will find a dive shop almost in every corner! The people in the dive shop will teach you the basics in the swimming pool and then you get to dive in the sea. That has to be an amazing experience!!!

If you stay here longer and want to try something different than Mexican cuisine I saw that there are Arabic, Italian and Chinese restaurants so you get a choice of what you want to eat. For you coffee drinkers the good news is that there’s a Starbucks here and a also small coffee shop. You can also have a coffee over at Guido’s, a famous Italian restaurant on the island. I suggest that if you have lunch at Guido’s you have their Cappuccino, because it’s so delicious!!!

If you find yourself walking on the island but then decide “oh I don’t want to walk anymore”, there are plenty of taxi drivers who will honk at you to see if they can drive you somewhere. The minimum price is 25 pesos. One piece of advice that a person gave me: Never take a taxi from the hotel or the harbor because they will charge you about 100 pesos. You can also rent a bike for the day, a car or a moped.

Now about Salsa and Salsa…The show is a lot of fun! On my first day I got to live it as a guest and I have to tell you, if you like to eat salsas, tortilla chips, quesadillas and chicken taquitos you will get your money’s worth. Mario and Oscar, our waiters, always fill up your glass if you’re a margarita drinker so you never have to ask for more margaritas.  The tour takes 3 hours but it goes by so fast unfortunately.  You also get to learn how to salsa dance! It’s a great and easy dance although there is one hard step to learn. But don’t worry you’ll own the step when the show ends!


I think that one of the most important things that we do at Salsa and Salsa, whether it’s here in beautiful Cozumel or Cabo San Lucas orMazatlan, is Lela. Lela is our donating pig and we take your picture with her if you donate! The Dancing Chefs decided to have Lela to help out the people of Haiti when the earthquake happened and since then our guests have been donating to a lot of different causes like animal shelters, breast cancer research, lupus, epilepsy etc. Right now we’re collecting money for the National Transplant Assistance Fund which is really important for me because of a personal experience. My grandmother needed a new heart back in the 80’s and had to fly all the way from Holland to England to have it done because the doctors in Holland just wouldn’t do it back then. She was the first female patient in the Netherlands to have a heart transplant. Some people aren’t that lucky and they need our help, because I’m sure you know how expensive a transplant can be if you’ve had a loved one who needed one.

I guess that’s all I can think of right now!  Hope to see you soon in Cozumel!

Opaaaaaaaaaaa….Oops Oleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Leonie, Dancing Chef

Lela embraces the children of HOPE Landing, Arkansas

Children are the most honest and inquisitive creatures walking the earth . They embrace life with such candor and passion, that we adults could often learn from them.

Last month a guest from Salsa and Salsa Cozumel contacted us about LELA. She suggested that LELA should support her favorite charity HOPE Landing.  HOPE Landing, in South Arkansas, is bringing HOPE and PURPOSE to the lives of children with disabilities by helping them achieve their potential.   

The great thing about HOPE Landing is that 5 women stepped up and said whether Medicaid, Medicare or private insurance pays or not, if the children need it to progress, we need to do our best to provide it.  HOPE Landing provides many non-traditional but proven effective therapies for children:  equine therapy, aquatic therapy, therapy through massage, therapy through drama, summer camp, educational tutoring and many others that can more fully be comprehended by visiting their website These services are provided regardless of a parent’s ability to pay…..many times at HOPE Landing’s expense.  Of course traditional therapy is provided also. 

The concept of HOPE Landing touched the hearts of all the Dancing Chefs and we decided to help spread the word. We’re convinced that in this way HOPE Landing can connect with other people that understand how important each and every person is and that we all need a little help sometimes.  During the month of September LELA collected $367USD, which will be used in all the different therapies at the facility.

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