Celebrity chef Rick Bayless is hosting the Food & Wine Festival in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo this March. // © 2011 Rick Bayless
This March 26-28, Mexico’s Pacific coast region of Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo will welcome the first Food & Wine magazine-endorsed festival in Latin America, headlined by celebrity chef and cookbook author Rick Bayless and hosted by Food & Wine magazine.
Bayless, who is known as a pioneer of modern and authentic Mexican cuisine in the U.S., is joining other acclaimed chefs, sommeliers and mixologists from Mexico and throughout the U.S. for the three-day event, which is scheduled to take place at various venues throughout the region, including Las Brisas Ixtapa Hotel, The Tides Zihuatanejo and Hotel Presidente Itxtapa Resort.
Scheduled festival events and activities include a catamaran tour from Zihuatanejo Bay; a Market to Table with Rick Bayless seminar; a wine seminar; and a 32 Tastes of Mexico dinner event featuring tasting stations, wine tastings and chef book signings.
Bayless recently joined Edgar Navarro Vazquez, executive chef of Club Intrawest Zihuatanejo, and Victor M. Terán Torres, festival culinary director and chef of Las Brisas Ixtapa Hotel, for an intimate media event highlighting the upcoming festival at Bayless’ newest restaurant, Red O, in Los Angeles.
Speaking to a group of media, Bayless said that the main purpose of the festival is to introduce diners to the variety and depth of Mexican cuisine.
“We are here to broaden America’s concept of what Mexico is,” Bayless said during the reception. “Many people still think of Mexico as a very narrow palate of flavors and, yet, there are 32 states with such diverse cuisine.”
According to Bayless and chefs Vazquez and Torres, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, in particular, is known for its posole (soup) and variations on traditional ceviche. Bayless said he also plans to showcase his signature modern twists on traditional Mexican cuisine, such as sweet-corn-and-goat-cheese tamales and pork-belly sopas.