After just returning from the fabulous 2014 Cancún-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival, held this year at SECRETS THE VINE CANCUN, I’m spreading the word to all food-lovers that this is one event you don’t want to miss next year.
I’m just sorry that no one let me in on the secret(s) that not only is the Cancún-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival, now in its third year, one of the Caribbean’s hottest gourmet tickets, but also that the elegant, Secrets The Vine Cancun - Adults-Only, All-Inclusive Resort is one secret worth shouting from the roof top.
Let’s start with the Cancún-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival
David Amar, the festival’s founder, knows there is no better way to experience the soul of a destination than through its food. Throw in Superstar Chefs who are delighted to help spread the word, a plethora of fun events, a variety of exceptional wines and Mexican spirits.
“Our Festival is the only one that showcases to the world what the entire Americas’ continent has to offer: Great culinary talents, crafted dishes, unique ingredients, perfect pairings, live music, and magical ocean-front venues, this continent’s celebration is the essence of this Festival,” explained Amar.
This year’s theme was “Europe Meets the Americas,” honoring the acclaimed New York-based, French Chef Daniel Boulud. He was joined by Mexican Chef Guillermo Gonzalez Beristain from Monterrey, “who has revolutionized traditional and contemporary food in the northern part of Mexico.” These culinary heavyweights, accompanied by 50 well-known chefs from Canada, United States, United Kingdom, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Peru, and Venezuela, were involved in over 25 events during the four-day festival.
It was hard to choose between the action-packed, cooking throw-downs, illuminating wine tastings led by distinguished sommeliers such as Veronique Rivest, “Best Sommelier of the Americas” and fascinating educational epicurean panels on topics such as “What does the future of Mexican cuisine look like?”
Chef Boulud succinctly answered, “It looks very good.” Montreal chef Normand Laprise, who’s receiving raves in the Canadian culinary world after winning the 2014 "Best Cookbook of the Year" award, echoed his sentiments adding, “Mexican gastronomy has a future-a bright future.”
Celebrity chef dinners included “Tastes of the New World” and “Vive la France” which showcased sinful desserts from renowned pastry chefs. The wrap-up was an unforgettable dinner honoring chef Daniel Boulud and his three Michelin stars prepared by five top chefs- each handpicked by Boulud.
The popular Gourmet Tasting Village featured gorgeous nibbles-almost too pretty to eat- prepared by area restaurants and the local culinary school (El Instituto Culinario de Cancún).
And now, a word about our host: SECRETS THE VINE CANCUN
You couldn’t ask for a more perfect host hotel than the spic & span newbie, SECRETS THE VINE CANCUN, which is perched right on a pristine, talcum-soft sand beach backed by the ombre turq-to-navy-blue Caribbean waters. This contemporary, chic, adults-only, wine-themed resort studied the competition and came up with the prefect answer: an all-inclusive plan offering Unlimited-Luxury®. This translates to huge balconied suites, elegantly appointed with teak wood furnishings and many fabulous signature amenities including: complimentary sommelier-led tastings; free of charge phone calls to Canada and the USA, Secrets Spa by Pevonia (I can vouch for their Ultimate Wine Massage) customized specialty dinners with select wine pairings, a Vine Bar with over 3,000 varietals, tequila tastings, and a state-of-the-art gym or beachside yoga classes, which you’ll need to work off the complimentary 24 hour room service as well as your choice of meals at one of their seven international restaurants. Choices include Sushi, Italian, Seafood, Chinese, a sophisticated Steak house or you can just lounge by the pool and ask them to bring you some fresh fish tacos and beer. There’s even a complimentary (they just can’t get enough of that word there) coffee bar that makes Starbucks caliber cappuccinos as well as a fancy selection of mini sandwiches or sweeties in case you’re feeling peckish. I loved that NO reservations are needed at any of the restaurants.
SECRETS THE VINE CANCUN also offers Preferred floors, complete with butler service, complimentary mini-bar, private pool, and upgraded bath amenities. There is also a premium brand cocktail lounge and a private outdoor Mediterranean restaurant Olio, which serves a delish yogurt-spice, grilled chicken.
They have already set the dates for next year’s extravaganza, March 12-15, 2015,so if you don’t want to get shutout I suggest you sign up soon.
To make reservations at SECRETS THE VINE CANCUN visit their website.