26/03/2012Cancun Celebrates Success of the First Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival

The first edition of the Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival successfully came to a close in Cancun on March 18th after 23 of the best chefs from the across the Americas - including the Festival’s guest of honor and world-renowned Chef Ferran Adria - to celebrate four days of entertainment, culinary delights, and superb beverages amongst fellow chefs, wine makers, connoisseurs, academics and journalists in the beautiful Mexican destination.

More than 5,000 visitors from all over the world embarked on a culinary journey that was comprised of 30 Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival events that took place from March 15-18 in various venues throughout destination. With its world-famous white sand beaches and turquoise waters, Cancun became the perfect backdrop for the festival, while receiving recognition for its gastronomical offerings.

Some of the most memorable moments from the festival included:

Thursday, March 15

• At the Universidad del Caribe, guest of honor Chef Ferran Adria announced plans for elBulli Foundation starting 2014. Before signing autographs for a long line of culinary students and admirers, Ferran Adria also participated in a panel discussion about the future of cooking alongside some of gastronomy’s biggest names including renowned Chef Normand Laprise (Canada), Chef Enrique Olvera (Mexico), Chef Jacques Pépin (United States) and Chef Mara Salles (Brazil).

• In the evening, 23 invited chefs prepared carefully-crafted creations using exquisite Mexican ingredients on the terrace of the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Resort and Spa. The special tasting also included stations of the best wineries in Latin America, which were strategically placed by a team of sommeliers to achieve the perfect pairing of wine and food for a memorable dining experience.

• The evening concluded at ME Cancun’s Rose Bar with music, dancing and cocktails from famed mixologist Junior Merino, who served some of his famous specialty concoctions.

Friday, March 16

• The Festival received rave reviews from the culinary demonstrations, which included presentations by Chef Bruno Oteiza of the famed Biko restaurant in Mexico City and Chef Normand Laprise from Montreal’s Toque!. Similar wine seminars took place at Sandos Cancun, with the participation of popular wineries such as Catena Zapata from Argentina, Casa Lapostolle from Chile and, from Mexico, Casa Madero and Monte Xanic.

• There were additional culinary demonstrations by Chef Paola Garduño , who wowed the audience by cooking a turkey leg directly on a live fire in her special oven, followed by Mexican chefs Edgar Núñez and Paulina Abascal; Argentinian chef Martin Molteni; and Canadian chef Daiel Vézina.

• The big ticket event was the Gala Dinner at Live Aqua Cancun in honor of Chef Ferran Adria. The dinner was prepared by six of Chef Ferran Adria’s Mexican disciples and chocolatier Jose Ramon Castillo. At the event, the Catalan chef received the first donation to elBulli Foundation by the Festival in the amount of $5,000. The symbolic presentation was preceded by the creative mixologist Junior Merino’s signature cocktails.

Saturday, March 17

• Thousands attended the inauguration of the American Express Gourmet Tasting Village at the Iberostar Cancun terrace where local restaurants, gourmet shops and wineries prepared tastings and samples for eager visitors who enjoyed the best of local cuisine. The Festival’s star chefs gathered to sign books and engage with guests.

• Zama Beach Club on Isla Mujeres hosted an exclusive dinner where visitors enjoyed a catamaran ride to reach the island, followed by an incredible night with Junior Merino’s cocktails and the culinary delights of Chef Federico Lopez, as well as specialties from restaurants that are part of Dine Around Cancun program.

Sunday, March 18

• Spirits lovers enjoyed a superb tequila tasting presented by Partida, Milagro and Casa Noble brands, a degustation of artisanal mezcal to introduce Mezcal de Leyenda, as well as a mixology demonstration by Junior Merino.

• The Festival’s closing ceremony took place at Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancun resort, where Argentinians and Brazilians showed off their respective parrillada styles, followed by dancing and fireworks.

David Amar, President and Founder of the Festival, said: “The dream became a reality. The first edition of the Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival exceeded the expectations of our sponsors, wine distributors, guests and local community.
This festival was record-breaking in terms of the number of star chefs, wine classes, media impacts and the impressive list of prestigious sponsors for a first-time event.”

The Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau was proud to participate in an event of this magnitude, and thanks both visitors and organizers for making Cancun the ideal destination to celebrate four days of the best cuisine the Americas has to offer.

The 2013 edition of the Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival anticipates more chefs, more wineries, more visitors and more events, all to celebrate the next theme: The Encounter between Europe and the Americas.

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About Cancun

Cancun is located in the northern part of the southeastern Mexican state of Quintana Roo. It is Mexico’s number one tourist destination and is known all over the world for its spectacular beaches, unique beauty and breathtaking turquoise waters.

Cancun’s shoreline recently underwent a $71 Million Dollar makeover, that featured 1.3 billion gallons of sand to renovating the Hotel Zone’s seashore. The most popular tourism destination in Mexico and Latin America has also added to its sun, beach, and nightlife, by creating a unique five-day route that will offer visitors a chance to experience adventure and interaction with nature. Cancun and the Treasures of the Caribbean invite travelers to discover the vast natural, cultural and gastronomical cultures of Puerto Morelos, and the four islands of the Mexican Caribbean: Holbox, Isla Mujeres, Contoy and Cozumel. Cancun is a multifaceted destination that combines nature, historical Mayan Culture, glamour, luxury and world class tourism with the seduction for adventure, the passion for paradisiacal nature and the enchantment of gastronomical magic.

For more information, visit the Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau website at: www.cancun.travel. Follow us on Twitter @CancunCVB, “LIKE” us on Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/cancuncvb browse through our videos on YouTube at: http://www.youtube.com/user/cancuntravel and share your pictures of Cancun on our Flickr site at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/22572360@N07/.
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