Mexico's Hotel Matilda Prepares For Annual Day Of The Dead Dinner

The Day of the Dead is coming to life at Mexico's Hotel Matilda. The property in San Miguel de Allende is preparing for its sixth annual Cena Negra ("Black Dinner") at the celebrated Moxi restaurant.

"Each year, our Black Dinner at Moxi is among the most hauntingly delicious and creative culinary extravaganzas celebrating the Day of the Dead in Mexico," said Bruce James, director of Hotel Matilda. On El Día de los Muertos, Mexicans celebrate love and respect for their ancestors and lost loved ones. Some families create altars adorned with candles and photos while others prepare special foods like pan dulce that are consumed at a picnic in a cemetery.  Another time-honored tradition is dressing up in skeleton-adorned costumes and donning face paint in the likeness of a sugar skull.

The restaurant's own tradition incorporates these aspects of the celebration, from altars to face paint. Every member of the staff will be in costume as they serve a six-course menu by chef Eduardo Garcia, widely considered one of the country's top chefs. Also on the menu is an artistic intervention by Betsabeé Romero, who enjoys extensive international acclaim as one of Mexico's most celebrated artists.

Each year, this dinner becomes more exotic and dark. In 2015, the Black Dinner had a "Painted in Black" theme where a continuous lifeline decorated the entrance to Hotel Matilda and led from to Moxi's dining room to the kitchen. In 2016, famed chef Enrique Olvera took the Cena Negra to the streets of San Miguel. The dinner started with a cocktail party in a plaza and was followed by a traditional callejoneada, a procession through the streets to the hotel. It was so exciting that CNN documented the whole thing.

This year, Garcia, who worked under Olvera at Pujol, will be preparing dishes like pork belly confit with artichoke purée, sunflower seed, tarragon, and onion jus and sweet potato with toasted macadamia nut and chamomile. Expect intense flavors and flair, and come dressed for the event.

The 2017 Black Dinner at Hotel Matilda's Moxi restaurant takes place on Thursday, November 2, and costs 2,500 pesos (about US$137) per person; service is additional. For more information and to make reservations: