Puerto Vallarta & Riviera Nayarit became a Mecca of gastronomy, with a plethan of events showcasing the talents of star local Master Chefs and guests chefs from around the world from November 1-18, 2012. 

The “Los Tres Mosqueteras” Three Muskateers, Chef Thierry Blouet, Chef Heinz Reize and Chef Roland Menetrey creators of the event glowed with pride at the opening world chef welcome party. Blouet and Reize presented the event for the first time 18 years ago, and in 2000 Chef Menetrey joined the partnership to highlight the vibrance of the gastronimique in Puerto Vallarta. The event evolved and invited star chefs from around the world now travel to the event to share their expertise. shared “We are happy to be celebrating our 18th year here in Puerto Vallarta, and are so lucky to have over thirty-five star chefs participating this year” said Master Chef Thierry Blouet. “If the opening gala here at Marival in Riviera Nayarit is an indication of how well this year’s event will go we are in for something so great” said Master Chef Heinz Reize.

Chef Roland Menetrey, Journalist Bonnie Carroll and Chef Thierry Blouet

The opening world chef’s welcome party, held at Marival Residences & World Spa in Riviera Nayarit included the best in Mexican gourmet food & wine, live music and Mexican dancers, fireworks and a chef awards presentation by Master Chefs’ Blouet, Reize and Menetrey. The evening could only be described as magical.

For eighteen days guests enjoyed Safari Dinners at participating restaurants, Chef’s table & winemakers nights, gourmet cooking demonstratons, Kitchen Aid demonstrations, International Culinary Symposiums lead by chefs and leaders in the food industry, cheese of the world and wine tastings along with the opportunity to meet many of the finest chefs in the world.  

Chef Javier Plascencia

I enjoyed meeting with many of the chefs such as Chef Patricia Quintana, owner of Restaurant Izote in Mexico City, who has devoted forty-five years to the research of indigenous Mexican cuisine, and created Waves Dressings. Javier Plascencia of Baja California is a teacher and owner of several successful restaurants. He is also the founder of the Baja Culinary Fest. Plascencia was guest chef at Café des Artistes and the dishes he and Theirry Blouet prepared were magnificent. According to the Plascencia he will be opening a new restaurant soon on Beverly Boulevard in Los Angles.

Chef Heinz Reize

The participating restaurants at XVIII Festival Gourmet International included Café des Artistes at/en Thierry Blouet Cocina de Autor, Coco Tropical, El Arrayan, El Fogoncito Tepic, Emiliano Comida y Vino (Tepic), Frascati, Kaiser Maximilian, Le Leche Almacen Gourmet, La Palapa, La Patrona Polo Club, Las Pampas (Tepic), Porto Bello Bistro & Lounge, Sanzibar Gastronimia Elenental, The River Café, Trio,  Andrea (Velas Vallarta Suites Resort &Convention Center), Blanca Blue Restaurant & Lounge (Garza Blanca Preserve Resort & Spa), Boca-Dos STK Bites & Meats (Garza Blanca Preserve Resort & Spa), Café des Artistes del Mar (Hotel Cinco, Punta de Mita), Don Quijote (Barcelo Premium, Puerto Vallarto), Frida (Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit), Green Bistro (La Tranquila Breath Taking Resort & Spa, Punta de Mita), L’Isola (Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta), La Casona (Villa La Estancia Beach Resort & Spa, Nuevo Vallarta), ikado (Casa Magna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa), Nicksan (Marival Residences & World Spa, Luxury Resort Riviera Nayarit), Omaggio (Marival Residences & World Spa, Luxury Resort Riviera Nayarit), Sea Breeze (The St. Regis, Punta Mita Resort), Tramonto (The Grand Mayan, Nuevo Vallarta).

Congratulations to the Puerto Vallarta Tourism & Convention Bureau and all the organizers and participants for fantastic and delicious gourmet experience. For additional information please visit www.festivalgourmet.com


By Bonnie Carroll