John and Ellen left their home countries (Australia and the United States) to build a life in Belize and open a restaurant and hotel, thus giving them the time to connect with people in a meaningful way. Whether their passion for life makes the food at the Maya Beach Hotel Bistro so good, or whether John’s talent is simply deserving of a Michelin rating he might never receive, I don’t know. I do know that I can’t get the craving for their garlic and goat cheese appetizer out of my head, I can still close my eyes and taste the complex flavors of the lamb and feta salad that I enjoyed, and I have never tasted anything like John’s peanut butter ice cream pie. Other dinner standouts include leek flan with grilled conch, and shrimp French toast. Maya Beach Hotel Bistro is open to hotel guests and the public for three meals a day from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.