Showing posts from May, 2014

Food Festival, Boulud and Secrets Farewell

It was another beautiful day in Cancun as I woke up refreshed at Secrets The Vine . I wasn’t rushing anywhere this morning so I went down for breakfast in the Market Café.  The selection was as big as it had been for lunch the previous day. I had a little of everything, including one of my Mexican favorites, Chilaquiles. These are tortilla chips soaked in a green chile sauce (it can also be made with red sauce) and topped with cheese. After breakfast, I changed into my bathing suit and met up with my fellow journalists at the Preferred pool. It had a unique infinity setting that made you feel like you were floating in the middle of nowhere. We enjoyed some cocktails and chatted about how unique this setting was. In the afternoon, we all headed to the Gourmet Tasting Village at the Moon Palace Resort . It was very different from ones I had been to at previous wine and food Festivals. It was smaller and had a bigger concentration on food than personalities or

Secrets at the Cancun Wine and Food Festival

It was another beautiful day in Cancun and I took advantage at the start with a room service delivered breakfast on my balcony at Secrets The Vine . I didn’t have a lot of time to get ready for the first event of the Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine and Food Festival, the press conference with Garry Manuel Tattinger, Dave Amar and the star of the festival, Daniel Boulud. I’ve been to wine and food festivals in Atlantic City, New York, Aspen and South Beach, but this was my first time attending the Cancun-Riviera Maya one. It is hard to be a food-lover and not be in amour with Boulud, chef and restaurateur extraordinaire. That feeling was even stronger after listing to him talk about his journey around the world learning about and celebrating food before he landed in New York and produced his most famous restaurants. There was a lot of talk about protecting the environment, GMOs and using locally sourced ingredients, all things that are becoming very popular in Mexico.

Secrets Return to Cancun

I was excited to get an invitation by AMResorts and the Cancun-Riviera Maya Food Festival to check out the event and the luxury all-inclusive Secrets The Vine. The opportunity to return to Cancun, Mexico, after a number of years was interesting in itself, but the chance to cover the festival and stay at one of my favorite resort brands was too good to pass up. It was still cool when I left the Midwest, though the travel went smoothly and included an American Airlines upgrade. They served a breakfast soufflé in first class that I can honestly say was delicious and I am always a fan of their accompanying biscuits. I got through customs in Cancun Airport rather quickly and my driver was waiting to take me on the 15 minute trip to Secrets The Vine . The only thing that wasn’t going right was the weather, but the rain wasn’t going to damper my mood on this day. My suite was in the Preferred Club, which comes with a private check-in and extra room amenities. I was given a

Chicago Getaway: Kinzie Hotel and Howells & Hood

I was in the habit of heading to Chicago every month or two to check out a hotel and some restaurants, but my workload had me traveling so much out of the country that it had been a while since I’d been to the Windy City. I grabbed the chance when I heard about a new hotel in town. I headed into Chicago with a friend for the easiest trip there I’d had in a very long time. I almost (note that I said “almost”) felt guilty about just staying at one hotel and going to one restaurant, but we had both been working our tails off the previous few weeks and needed the break. It was an easy two hour drive to downtown. The Kinzie Hotel is located in the building that once housed the Amalfi, though you might not recognize it now. It’s a thoroughly modernized boutique property with some very interesting amenities. It’s always been my pet peeve that the more expensive the hotel (especially in big cities), the less you get. If you stay in a chain’s lowest property, you’ll ge