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Grand Fiesta Americana
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Gearing Up for the Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival

By Michelle da Silva Richmond

We’re gearing up for Cancun and the Riviera Maya’s fifth annual Wine & Food Festival, April 28 – May 1, 2016 and our guests will have a front row seat to all of the appetizing culinary activities.

This much-heralded event will be scattered throughout assorted area resorts allowing visitors to embark on a tasty four-day epicurean journey dished up by renowned chefs and distinguished sommeliers. A special nod will be given this year to Oaxaca Chef Alejandro Ruiz and Barcelona’s Chef Albert Adrià, considered the best pastry chef in the world.

Our prestigious resort – home to the AAA Five Diamond Award winning restaurant Le Basilic – is the Festival’s platinum sponsor and the site of the Celebrity Press Conference on April 29 from 8:30 – 10 a.m., where 18 chefs* will share some information about themselves and talk about the Festival. A Q&A will follow, allowing attendees to learn more about the various cuisines and wines.

Le Basilic – one of only seven restaurants in Mexico to hold the Five Diamond distinction – will host the fifth anniversary luncheon on April 29 from 1 – 4 p.m. Honored at the event will be David Amar, CEO and Founder of Cancun and Riviera Maya Wine and Food Festival.

The award-winning restaurant highlights a French-Mediterranean menu under the guidance of Chef Henri Charvet of Paris who holds the distinguished Maître Cuisinier de France and Chevalier du Mérite Agricole designations. Charvet has headed up the award-winning eatery since 2002 and is renowned for blending the freshness of local products with unique French culinary techniques. 

Festival Highlights 

Two formal dinners – one dedicated to the gastronomic delicacies of Barcelona led by Chef Albert Adrià – and another applauding Oaxaca’s Chef Alejandro Ruiz are scheduled.

  • April 28 Chef Alejandro Ruiz’ career and contributions to the culinary world will be celebrated at the avant-garde Live Aqua Cancun. Ruiz will be accompanied by Chefs: Luis Arellano (Pujol restaurant); Manuel Baños (Pitiona); Rodolfo Castellanos (Origen); Odilón García (Casa Oaxaca) and Rafael Villalobos (Casa Oaxaca) in creating a five- course menu celebrating the flavors of Oaxaca with spirited Mexican ingredients.
  • April 29 – Festival’s press conference at  Grand Fiesta Americana  Coral Beach 
  • April 29 Hotel Secrets the Vine Cancun will be the venue for the homage to Barcelona and Chef Adrià – who along the Iglesias brothers – helped launch Barcelona as Europe’s culinary capital. Three famous chefs from that city will accompany him: Chefs: Fran Agudo (Tickets, 1 Michelin Star); Francisco Méndez from Hoja Santa (1 Michelin Star) and Rafael Zafra, who works with the Adrià brothers at the Heart Ibiza with Cirque Du Soleil and the soon to open Estimar in Barcelona. The pairing of Rioja wines with a sumptuous six course menu promises a memorable gastronomic event.
  • April 30, the celebrated Cena con Chefs Estrella (Star Chefs Dinner) will gather the top 20 Mexican chefs who will share their iconic dishes while offering a delicious culinary journey through several regions of Mexico. The finest wines, tequilas, mescals and beer will be showcased and – for the first time ever – a decadent dessert table created by the top pastry chefs in Mexico will sweeten the night.

A variety of other events including cooking classes, wine and beer tastings, autograph signings, cocktails parties – and more promise a stellar event throughout the area.

We look forward to hosting you during this popular Festival!

*Chefs participating in the  Grand Fiesta American Coral Beach press conference:

David Amar                Carlos Galan               Cristian Morales         Irving Quiróz

Rafael Zafra                Rodolfo Castellanos   Jesus Escalera            Eleazar Bonilla

Paco Mendez              Rafael Villalobos       Daniel Müller             Erik Villar

Jorge Ildefonso           Pedro Abascal          Alejandro Ruiz           Carlos Galan

Jesus Escalera            Patrick Cros