There's no doubt that Cancun is one of the most popular destinations for luxury travel in Latin America, but it has increasingly been cementing its reputation as a top culinary destination as well. One way in which this city has been attracting foodies is with exciting events, like the upcoming Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival March 13-16. Each year, the festival brings renowned chefs & top sommeliers from around the world for an experience unlike any other. From tastings & private dinners to cooking demonstrations, attendees have the chance to eat, drink & learn in an entirely new way at 26 different events. This year promises to be one of the most inspiring yet, with the appearance of several highly respected chefs & new interactive experiences.
Getting hungry? Here's what to expect at the three day festival:
Wine & spirits tastings The event kicks off with a bang at the tastings, which happen every hour between 3 p.m. & 6 p.m. Some of the world's best sommeliers, including Veronique Rivest, who is ranked No. 1 in the world, & Juan Carlos Flores, a revered & well-known Mexican native, will lead a tasting of exceptional wines from the Americas & Europe. Not only will you be sipping these selections, you'll also have the chance to talk one on one with the winemakers.
Sunset catamaran cruise & private island dinner Looking for a more exclusive experience? A limited number of attendees will be whisked away on a luxury catamaran cruise the first evening to the breathtaking Isla Mujeres. There, they'll be served a gourmet dinner under the stars at a private beach club, which has been prepared by the country's top chefs & paired with wines by expert sommeliers.
Cooking challenges If you're hoping to sharpen your skills in the kitchen, don't miss the interactive cooking challenge March 15. Celebrity chefs will engage in some friendly competitions, while also teaching guests about their methods. Attendees have the chance to meet & chat with the chefs as well as have their books autographed.
Celebrity dinners Daniel Boulud is one of the most highly respected chefs in New York City & The Culinary Institute of America's Chef of the Year 2011. At his tribute dinner, "French Cuisine Around the World," five legendary chefs will prepare a five-course meal & wine pairing to celebrate the influence that French cuisine has had on other regions & to honor Boulud's innovative style.
The closing celebration, "French Delights & Sinful Desserts," will allow guests to indulge in hors d'oeuvres reflecting every region of France while savoring fine wine & cocktails. Accordionists provide the charming soundtrack while mimes perform an entertaining show. The best part is the abundant array of French desserts, including petits-fours, puits d'Amour & macarons.