20th Festival Gourmet International held in Puerto Vallarta from November 13-23 began with a stunning outdoor food and wine gathering at the Westin Hotel & Spa Resort. The venue was over flowing with talented local and visiting international chefs, as well as enthusiastic ‘foodies’ who thoroughly appreciated the divine food and wine being presented. The magic of the evening tasting was enhanced with performances by talented local musicians, and the grand award presentation ceremony honoring the chefs.

Chefs' Reize, Blouet and Menetrey present award to Chef Gerard Dupont

Chefs’ Reize, Blouet and Menetrey present award to Chef Gerard Dupont

The “three musketeers” who coordinate this amazing event, Chefs’ Thierry Blouet, Heinz Reize and Roland Menetrey, were all on hand to greet guests and present awards, including one award presented to annual guest chef Gerard Dupont, President of the Culinary Academy of France. The ten day festival was originally created to enrich the profile of Puerto Vallarta’s gastronomic scene locally and internationally, and in the past nineteen years, it has more than exceeded in accomplishing this goal.

Participating chefs creating gourmet dishes at local restaurants included Guy Santori, France; Orlando Maria Hugli, Switzerland; Ben Cotrell, US; Chris Bradley, US; Davide Marchetti & Giuseppe Angeloni, Italy; Ryan Steyn, South Aftica; Vicente Torres, Spain; Dominik Enderle, Germany; Cheryl Rosario & Sarbhal Da Silva, India; Pato Persuo & Marcas Gabrul Fulcheri, Argentina; Kristopher Andersson, Sweden; Pedro Martin, Canary Islands. Mexican Chefs included Jose Fernando Perez, Juan Carlos Chavez, Mario Blanco, Carlos Gaytan, Sebastian Hamdan, David Cetina, M. Miguel Quezada, Giovanni Romero, Jose Ivan Lodera, Jesus Gibaja, Maria Teresa Alanis, Thomas Bermudez, Angel Carbajal, Mico Mejia, and Edgar Nunez. I especially enjoyed meeting the visiting chef from Zurich Switzerland, Orlando Maria Hugli, who worked at world-class hotels in Switzerland and the 18 Gault-Milau/one Michelin Star Restaurant Zirbelstube in Stuttgart. Currently he is completing his BS in Food Technology at the University of Zurich. Hugli was serving original Swiss inspired recipes at Coco Tropical Restaurant & Beach Club during the festival.

Participating Chefs Receive Awards

Participating Chefs Receive Awards

“We are very happy to have these talented visiting chefs participating in our Puerto Vallarta restaurants during our 20th anniversary festival celebration. Guests have shared with me their pleasure with hotel accommodations and the wonderful festival events included in this years program,” said Chef Thierry Blouet, Gourmet Festival Committee and chef/owner Cafe des Artistes.

The 29 restaurants participating included Andrea Gourmet, Arrecifes, Boca Dosstk, Bordeaux, Cafe des Artistes, Coco Tropical, El Quincho, Emiliano, Frida, Green Bistro, Kaiser Maxmilian, La Casona, La Catrina, La Corona, La Leche, La Palapa, La Patrona, Las Gasitas, Las Pampas, Michel’s, Nicksan,

Journalist Bonnie Carroll with Swiss Chef Orlando Maria Hugli

Journalist Bonnie Carroll with Swiss Chef Orlando Maria Hugli

Porto Bello, Punta Arena, Sanzibar, Sea Breeze, The River Cafe, TRIO, Imanta, and Tuna Blanca. Wine and beverage sponsors included Monte Xanic, VINOS Wagner, Ferrer-LCM, Venos Americas, Vinoteca, Moet & Chandon, Patron Tequila, Minerva, Lavazza Coffee, Rougie and S. Pellegrino Water.

Congratulations to Puerto Vallarta and the Puerto Vallarta Tourism & Convention Board, the talented organizers, sponsors and chef participants for yet another fantastic and delicious gourmet experience. For details and updates on the 2014 event please visit: www.festivalgourmet.com.


Bonnie Carroll