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Puerto Vallarta To Reign As Mexico’s Culinary Capital

The 15th Annual International Gourmet Festival 


Over 25 Participating Restaurants will Host Highly Acclaimed Chefs from Mexico and Around the World

October 20, 2009 – Once again, Puerto Vallarta will reign as Mexico’s capital of culinary arts from November 12-22, 2009 with the 15th annual International Gourmet Festival. Over 25 restaurants will be participating in this year’s program with highly acclaimed guest chefs from Mexico and around the world. Foodies can enjoy special winemaker’s dinners; sample wine, cheese, and chocolate at special tastings take part in cooking demonstrations, and even partake in a culinary “safari” sampling special dishes at four restaurants in one evening. 

Puerto Vallarta’s fine gastronomic scene has the ability to impress the most sophisticated palates. The city’s natural beauty is a source of inspiration for the creation of an exciting amalgam of flavors that blend traditional Mexican ingredients with contemporary tastes from around the globe.

In April 2009, the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences (AAHS) awarded eight Puerto Vallarta restaurants with the prestigious Five Star Diamond Award, considered to be the most notable accolade a restaurant may receive, in recognition of their fine gastronomy, superior quality, cleanliness and service. Puerto Vallarta is considered home to the second best restaurant scene in Mexico, after Mexico City.

Some of this year’s guest chefs include:
Enrique Olvera and Guillermo González Beristáin.
Chef Olvera
is owner of PUJOL, a restaurant in Mexico, City. He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York State and has been recognized as “Chef of the year” by Catadores magazine, one of Mexico’s leading magazines dedicated to food and wine. He was also recognized in 2008 as one of the next 10 chef superstars by Food & Wine magazine.

Chef González Beristáin is also a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. He is the owner of Pangea in Monterrey, Mexico, owns a brand of Mexican wine and was recognized by Catadores as one of the 10 best chefs in Mexico. Chefs Olvera and González Beristáin will be cooking at the avant-garde La Leche Restaurant.

Chef Casiano Reyes will be the guest chef at the more classic and award-winning Euro-Mediterranean restaurant Trio. Chef Reyes is the owner of Casianos No Menu, No Rules, often referred to as the best new restaurant in Cabo San Lucas, Baja California. A native of Oaxaca, Chef Reyes combines regional Mexican cooking with modern culinary techniques.

Chef Claudio Marras is Executive Chef at two restaurants at Dubai’s Al Qasr Jumeirah Hotel will be showcasing his specialties at the Five Star Diamond Award recipient Vista Grill. Chef Marras studied at the Culinary Institute of America and Paris’ Le Notre Institute. He started his career in Paris at the one-Michelin star Clos de Longchamp. A native Chilean, Chef Marras, was also executive chef of Chilean national airline Lan Chile, responsible for creating the airline’s first and business class menus.


Some of the highlights to look forward to at Puerto Vallarta’s 15th International Gourmet Festival include:
November 11 to 22 – “Gourmet a la Carte”
It is a Festival tradition for a resident chef at each partner restaurant to play host to a guest chef and allow patrons to indulge in world class culinary creations. There is a “Gourmet a la Carte” dinner every night during the ten-day long festival.

November 14 – “Chocolate and Tea World Pairing”
At the Westin Resort & SPA, recognized pastry chefs will present the art of chocolate and “Xocodiva” Pralines as well as a tasting of teas from around the world.

November 14 and 16 – “Gourmet Safari” and “Progressive Dining”
Gourmet connoisseurs can enjoy a culinary safari by minivan or a culinary stroll through Puerto Vallarta’s old quarters (also known as Zona Romantica) to sample specialties prepared by master chefs at four participating restaurants.

November 15 to 21 – “Winemaker’s Night”
An opportunity to sample a fine culinary feast complete with wine pairings.  Participating restaurants include Xitomates, Thierry Blouet Cocina de Autor, La Casona, Kaiser Maximilian, Le Kliff, Vista Grill, La Leche, and more.

November 16, 18, and 19 – “Gourmet Cooking Demonstration”
These ethnically themed cooking demonstrations are the perfect opportunity to learn master chef recipes, methods, and secrets. Participating restaurants include Café des Artistes, Coco Tropical, and Mikado at the Casamagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort.

November 20 – “Cheeses of the World and Wine Tasting”
Hosted at the Casa Velas Hotel Boutique overlooking the greens of the Marina Vallarta Golf Course, this is the ultimate wine and cheese party with cheeses by Quesart.

Additional information on Puerto Vallarta and a complete program of the International Gourmet Festival is available at



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