Cancun Food and Wine Festival 2014 promises satisfaction for gourmets
I was unsure about what to expect from my first visit to Mexico and had preconceived images of Cancun – all incorrect as it turns out. It’s fresh, airy, spacious and fun. Locals are sophisticated, helpful and ever friendly. In its own way it’s like a mini Miami and an ideal location for Mexico’s most prestigious Food and Wine Festival – with over 25 foodie events spanning four days hosted by a line-up of some 33 celebrity chefs from around the world accompanied by 50 wine and spirit producers. Guests indulge in interactive wine seminars, tastings, cooking demonstrations, and partying at the American Express Gourmet Tasting Village.
The festival was the brain-child of Canadian entrepreneur David Amar, president and founder of what he hopes will become the best food and wine festival in Latin America. After experiencing food events, in Miami’s South Beach and Aspen, Amar declared Cancun’s pairing of delicious local produce and stunning location a no brainer.
The festival’s front runner featured Massimo Bottura, an Italian chef who owns the San Pellegrino’s Top 50 Award winner Osteria Francescana in Modena. Bottura broke all taboos, and spoke about his desire to modernise Italian cuisine, simply because it makes sense. While traditionalists find this idea an abomination, more open minded contemporaries welcome his passion to move on from outdated culinary methods.
Cancun’s pick of the bunch for dining out include: Le Chique, which specialises in molecular gastronomy skilfully fusing flavours into something unexpected and delicious; Paradisus Tempo, where the six star Michelin chef Martin Berasategui has brought his world-renowned cooking to Cancun with a retro-glamorous vibe perfect for long dinners; and Le Basilic offering a cultural dining experience featuring art coming to life with the works of Mexican artist Leon Alva created against the backdrop of live jazz and French Mediterranean styled cuisine created by Chef Henri Charvet.
Indeed the whole of the Mayan Riviera is rich in both produce and culture. Endless sandy beaches and azure waters teaming with tropical fish attract visitors from around the world. When you’re not thinking about your stomach there’s some of the best scuba in the world on your doorstep, the ancient Mayan sites of Coba, Tulum and Chichen Itza, and local markets chocabloc with Mexican arts and crafts.
2014’s Festival, will pair The Americas with a tribute to France including Montreal’s star Normand Laprise along with New York’s Daniel Boulud. A melange of Mexican, Canadian and French master-chefs promise taste tingling extravaganzas. See you there.
13-16 March 2014 Cancun Food Festival hosted at Secrets The Vine