lifestyle, travel This is Cozumel

In our latest article about successful expat businesses on the island we speak with Emily Egge, the "Cozumel Chef".

If you've dreamed about combining a love of travel with a love of food then meeting Emily might make you a teensy bit jealous.

28 and originally from Kalamazoo in Michigan, Emily was first captivated by Cozumel when she visited on a cruise in 2009 and came back a few months later to see more and try the island's wonderful diving opportunities.

Cozumel food tours
The Cozumel Chef.

At the time she was living in New Jersey and had just switched careers from mechanical engineering to food "engineering", studying classical French cuisine at the Big Apple's French Culinary School.

Out of the cold east coast weather and her new found love for food and Cozumel came the concept for the Cozumel Chef, an idea she says she started, "with a simple website and a dream".

Seeking to fill a gap in the market for a highly-personalized catering service for visitors to the island, Emily set out to pamper people's palates in the comfort of their own vacation homes.

Cozumel chef
Fine dining in your vacation home.

In 2011, she moved to the island full-time and set up her Cozumel culinary vision. She was accompanied by her husband, whose family already had a business in Cozumel which made the move easier.

From there, Emily's gourmet business has gone from strength to strength. Now, not only does she offer fine dining for people in their vacation homes, she also offers a Trip Advisor Top Ten Cozumel food tour teaching about local Mexican delicacies; sources catering supplies for visitors; and generally loves getting involved in anything gastronomical on the island.

"You name it, if it's food related I am hungry for it!", laughs Emily.

Cozumel catering
Emily's gourmet business has gone from strength to strength.

She delights in the fact that no two days are ever the same and genuinely loves her new island lifestyle.

And when you hear some of her varied stories about catering for rich Canadian adult toy tycoons, helping big international PR agencies promote Mexican food and supping coffee with great chefs such as Jacques P├ępin, it's easy to understand why.

If you'd like to follow a similar dream, Emily has simple advice for other non-Mexicans looking to set up business here, be it in food or anything else.

Food tours in Cozumel
Trip Advisor Top Ten Cozumel food tour.

"Get your paperwork in order", she says, "network with people that are willing to help you get the proper documentation to live here."

She points out that red tape can take longer than expected, but with a little patience it will be well worth the wait. Rather like fine cuisine.

See our business directory for more information and contact details for the Cozumel Chef or see our Things To Do section for more information about Emily's Cozumel Food Tours.

Photos 2, 3 and 4 courtesy of M&J Photography.

More Enterprises in Paradise:

Animal Therapy, Cozumel Equestrian Center.
Hair Styling and Beauty, Cozumel Island Spa.
Multimedia services agency, Cactus TV.
Furniture and interior design company, The Magic Of Design.
Boutique downtown accommodation, the Hotel Flamingo.